Girls Write Out
Sunday, May 08, 2011

The past week I've been going through photos while preparing for Justin's graduation open house. Let me just say, there's nothing like making a graduation picture board to stir up all the memories of yesterdays gone by.

Justin at birth. Justin at 3. Justin without his front tooth. Justin riding a zoo turtle with his cuz.

Those early days are a distant haze, and all that's left are a handful of memories and lots of photos. I loved when he was a newborn, tiny, cuddly, and totally helpless in my arms. I loved when he crawled across the floor, turning to flash me a smile. I loved when he was 5 and said the funniest things. I didn't so much love the 3s, not with any of my boys, but that's another blog.

I have to say, though, much to my surprise, that I have enjoyed the teenage years. Now, it's early days--though Justin is 18, I have a 15 yr-old and a 12 year-old, so please leave me room to change my mind next week.

But, so far? The teen years have been pretty awesome. And yes, Girl Moms, I know it's because they're boys. I consider this relatively peaceful time of life my payoff for the toddler years when I didn't sit down for five years straight.

And even now, I'm not saying there aren't those, um, moments. Yes, there are those. Some of them pretty stressful. But in between the tri-annual Battle for Independence, the Because I Said So Treaty we have in place has been largely effective. Best of all, I enjoy our boys' personalities--and they are each so different! They're old enough to reason with, to have interesting conversations with, and they get our jokes. (Okay, so they roll their eyes, but still.)

True, the worries are bigger, the stakes are higher, and the lack of control will drive you to your knees. But every now and then, when your nearly-grown kid does something that makes you stand a little taller, when you see all your hard work, all the prayers, paying off?


If you're a parent, what's your favorite age or stage (so far)? If you're not a parent, what do you think your favorite stage will be?

Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:28 PM  
  Comments (8)
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At 2:02 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

I, too, loved the teen years. We homeschooled our son from 6th grade through high school, so we were together except for when he was working. We became very close and only one or two times did he challenge me with budding independence. When he found it didn't work, he never tried it again! LOL

Now that my son is 30 years old and had two children of his own, I really miss those teen years. But then, I miss him every day anyway(he lives 4 states away from us).

I think this age...30...though a trial for a loving mom who wants the best for her son and prays like crazy for God to help and protect him, is my favorite so far. I am discovering what a nice man my son is. He is a good husband and father and does his best to provide for his family. He is mature and kind and is loving to his parents (even calls me once in a while just to chat!!) I see what he has become and I thank God for intervening in my child-rearing mistakes. My son is who he is more because of God's faithfulness to answer my prayers than anything I ever did.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Anne Mateer said...

When my kids were little, I honestly hated being a mom. I just didn't like babies or toddlers. Elementary was better, but not great. Middle school, tough as it was, especially with my strong-willed first born, was SO much better. And when I had three teens at home? Then I began to say "I love being a mom!"

My theory is that sometimes there is just an age you are better at parenting. For me it is this teen and young adult age. With one just turned 20, an 18 yr old about to graduate and a 16 yr old at home, I'm loving every minute of these years, for I know they will be gone in the blink of an eye. I will miss my teenagers so much more than I ever missed babies and children.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

You're right, Ruthie! Mistakes are inevitable, but prayer covers! Parenthood keeps us on our knees, that's for sure!

I agree, Anne. Our personalities have a lot to do with which ages are hardest and which we enjoy most. I've heard some parents say parenting is the worst after they leave home and others say they enjoy it most then. It may have to do with how hard it is for the parent to give up control over their children's lives.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Sheri said...

I'm a parent of 3 and they are only 7, 5 and 3 years old right now. One of my very favorite stages was around 9 months old, when they start responding and being their own little person. Although I must say that each age has its special moments. :o)

At 12:26 PM, Blogger SandieP said...

I loved the young years - you know before they had a mind of their own - well, before they could fully express it. LOL I find it more difficult to be a parent to an adult child than it was to parent a toddler. Harder not to give unasked for advice or help, let them make their own mistakes, and just hope they won't do anything too terrible. They both have good heads on their shoulders though, so it's all good. :-)

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

No children, but I did have stepchildren. Two boys and a girl. The boys were easier because I didn't have a parent role, and they were all for playing when they came for their weekly or weekend visits or came to live. I was a tomboy, so that fit me fine. Each came to live with us at about fifteen in rebellion against their poor mother. I loved the boys when they were between six and thirteen. Teba, the oldest, a girl, was fun when she began to develop and we experimented with makeup and hair together and posed for pictures and dressed her for prom. The boys would explore caves with me and drag me fishing or all of us would play make-believe. Not fair to their mother, who had to discipline them.

I wrote about Teba's death at 18, so that's another reason the boys were a highlight. Teba would have been 43 yesterday. Randy and Jason are thriving. Jason, the youngest, still likes to fish, is still with the Coast Guard and Homeland Security. Randy stays close to home and watches out for his mother's health. Despite the pain and divorces and struggles in their lives, my stepsons thrived.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Like you, Denise, I loved the teen years. Sure we had a few head-butting incidents, who doesn't? But by-in-large, I loved them. Now all ours are grown, the youngest about to turn 34. I can't figure our how he could be that old, since I'm only 35. But he is.

The hardest part is getting their dad to realize they're grown men now and he can relax. LOL

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Cathy Shouse said...

What an adorable photo. I'll be sorting through next year for a h.s. senior video. I hope your photos are more organized than mine are. Do you have a ton of your first-born and then fewer and fewer?

I have loved every age. Currently with an 11 year-old and a 17-year-old, it's fun. My youngest was reminiscing with me recently. We laughed about the time she put a computer disc (remember those?) in the microwave. It literally had a flame coming out of that metal part after she nuked it.

Another time, I was trying to break her of chucking her socks all over the house after removing them. I asked where they were this time, when she was sitting on the potty bare foot. She confessed she had flushed them down the toilet "like Boo." We had returned from the Monsters, Inc. movie. Fortunately they were little socks so we didn't need a plumber!

Today my young man said "Mom, you're a sweetheart." Now, I had done laundry he needed done, and he was probably schmoozing me, but it still melted my heart. :)


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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