Saturday, February 25, 2012

Same Song, Different Verse

Being a teenager is hard.  Having a teenager is harder.  I keep trying to forget that I have three more teenagers coming. 

Last night K15 sang us a different verse of the same old song.  We took her to a friend's house.  An adult was suppose to bring K home before 11pm.  We don't let K ride in cars with teenagers.  K knows this.  Her friend knows this.  Unfortunately, once again, K thought she wouldn't get caught or she didn't think at all.  She got in the car with a teenage driver then lied about it.  She didn't come clean until we presented all the facts to her. 

The upside is that my family room and bathroom are really clean.  The downside is that I have no clue what it's going to take to get my daughter to walk in obedience. 

I see her tears and contrite spirit after she is caught and feel for her.  It's hard not to fit in because your rules are, well, rules.  So many of her friends don't have boundaries or if they do the boundaries are flexible or negotiable.  Some of her friends know their parents won't be checking up on them.  Some of her friends know their parents expect them to ___________ because kids will be kids.  Our rules are black and white.  They center around personal safety and responsibility.  K knows what is allowed and she knows why.  She doesn't always like our rules or agree with them but she never has to wonder if something is going to get her into trouble or not.  She knows.

Even with clear guidelines, staying out of trouble is not always so cut and dry.  It's hard to say, "I'm not allowed" when you are 15 and no one with you has the same rules.  It's hard to be part of a group that will be hanging out long after you have left.  It's hard not to be invited because everyone knows that your parents won't let you _______. 

Keeping a 15 year old safe and sheltered feels next to impossible sometimes.  She fights it.  The world around us fights it.  It seems inevitable that she's going to face all those dangers that we try to keep her from.  Someday, she will have to make her own choices.  Someday she will get into cars with the people that she chooses, not her dad or me.  Someday she will decide how late she stays out and with whom.  Someday but not yet.

My prayer is that by the time she is making those decisions without my supervision she'll be ready to take as good care of herself as I take of her.  I pray that she will value herself as much as I value her.  I pray that she will require others to value her as well.  I pray that when she's making her choices she will hear the words of love preaching safety and responsibilty in her heart and that she will choose well.

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