I am officially a mother of four teenagers this week! A tagline which seems unreal and at the same time well deserved. I made it! The kids made it! We are riding the other side of the hill towards the finish line of adulthood.
My youngest son woke up on his 13th birthday to our happy birthday praises. As he was squishing the air out of his blow up mattress he said, “Now I am going to be rebellious and angsty because I am a teenager now.” We engaged in a morning skit about how now we were going to be yelling and fighting. How he was going to be defiant and I was going to be authoritative now that he turned the magical age where we were supposed to be at odds.
We ended our skit in hugs and laughter. What a gift Eli is in my life – the miracle that surprised us all of those years ago. His easy going spirit and joy remind me to take each day as it comes.
When we meet fellow campers on the road they are often surprised when I tell them that we travel with our teens in the RV. Some wonder how we can stand it. I think they have visions of us screaming and yelling and slamming doors. For one thing, if we tried to slam the bathroom door it would fall off of its hinges. And I can tell you from experience marching off to my bedroom and sliding the pocket door really fast does not have the same satisfaction!
The teen years for me are a time of deep conversations and a time of building trust. I have the opportunity to show my children what love looks like, mistakes are okay, how to connect with the outside world, and how to know themselves. The teen years are teaching me more about who I am and where I need growth than any other stage of development I have been mothering. These are powerful and insightful years that I have the honor to be a part of experiencing.
Eli’s birthday ended up being a day of Go Kart racing, burger eating, and Krispy Kreme donut indulging. We celebrated the beginning of his teenage years because in our tiny home it is the beginning of a deeper relationship and new adventures.