Today is my birthday. No need for cards or gifts, or even a Happy Birthday greeting. Just reading my blog today is truly your gift to me. Today's birthday got me thinking about how much has changed for me in a year. I live in a new house. Not a circumstance I would have chosen, but as fate would have it, a wonderful gift. I have a new blog. I never thought I would be writing everyday. I used to hate writing, got a "D " in English in High School. But yet here I am, a writer. I am a maker of you tube videos. I absolutely hate seeing myself in any form of print or video, double chin be damned! Yet here I am a videographer. I wrote a book, and I actually have sold it to real people, and have had to had several printings, never thinking anyone would buy it. Yet here I am an author. My wonderful 88 year old Aunt Bea for whom I am responsible had a very rough year of eight hospitalizations, rehabs, nursing homes, and is now home and stable. I love her and yet it has been a hard road for me as well making sure she is well cared by for me and her wonderful care-givers. And I have.
Just writing all that, I see how much I worked, grew, and adjusted to change this past year. I'm sure you know where I'm going here. As Parents of teens, I know you too will have a birthday list, as will your teen of all the changes, adjustments and growth you both have made over this year. Like birthdays, adolescence requires both parents and teens to grow whether they like it or not. You can't stop the momentum or you will lose control. The body will grow, your child will change, and your relationship takes on a new form. You ride the emotional lows of arguments and fights and insane worries about your teen's safety, and you ride the emotional highs of watching new passions be discovered, or having a single amazing conversation with your teen that signals a developing maturity, or watching them go to their first prom, leaving you breathless at how amazingly beautiful or handsome they are. Like a band aid that stings when you first pull it off, the pain of raising a teen and being a teen often lasts only a second compared to the healing and growth that lasts a lifetime.
So take a step back on those days that feel overwhelmingly negative. Make a birthday list even when there is no birthday, and look at ALL the changes that you and your teen have adapted to, grown from, and moved on from. Look at that list, and remind yourself of all you and your teen have already accomplished this week, or this month or this year, and know that this too will pass.