Sunday, February 3, 2013


As of yesterday, I am officially the mother of a teenager. I feel like I should be afraid. Like I should be bracing myself. These are the scary years, right? The years filled with push/pull and testing boundaries and rebellion. Important years that must be navigated carefully. Years that will define my future relationship with my son.

But strangely, I don't feel afraid. I feel blessed. I realize that there will be push and pull, and boundary testing, and maybe a bit of rebellion. But Connor is an awesome kid. He is honest and trustworthy and really wants to do the right thing. I am not naive enough to think there will never be issues we'll have to struggle through together. We already have, and he and I are far too much alike to go through life without butting heads. Homework time this afternoon was a perfect example. His stress level and mine rose to the breaking point, and we both needed a cooling off period before we could accomplish what needed to get done. But it did get done. We survived. Sometimes Chris looks at Connor and I and shakes his head. We are two sides of the same coin, and we drive each other crazy, but we always come out the other side ready to share a hug. I hope that doesn't change as my teenager grows older and "cooler". I don't think it will.

Connor has always been a homebody. He never wanted to go to camp (much to his dad's dismay), and until the last year or so he hasn't even been big on sleepovers. He likes to be in his own bed and night, with Mom and Dad not too far away. Two weeks ago he went to his first youth retreat, a winter weekend in Muskoka with the church youth group. He was super-excited, and a little nervous, but only someone who knows him as well as I do would realize it. I was really nervous. I was more worried about a fiery bus crash on snowy roads than anything else. I just wanted my boy safe at home, and by 6:00 Sunday night he was, with a big smile on his face. I am so glad his first "away from home" was a good experience, a great experience. It was good for both of us, good for him to get away, and good for me to let him go. I know it will be happening more and more.

This weekend, however, on his birthday, Connor was content to spend the day hanging out at home with his family. We had a big family breakfast, opened some presents, had Connor's favourite (tacos) for dinner, and then he stayed home and babysat his sister while Chris and I went out in the evening. His biggest event of the day was joining Facebook. He's still a homebody at heart.

Connor is a teenager. He is three inches taller than I am, and is quickly gaining on his dad. The years of driving and dating and leaving home are not that far away. We are entering a new stage of life together, and there will be challenges for our family. But in general, I couldn't be more grateful for the kid that Connor is. He has a generous heart and a great attitude. He is compassionate and kind, a good friend and wonderful brother. He is a teenager, but deep inside he's still my little boy. I hope part of him always will be.

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