Good Morning Beautiful ButterflyMoms!!!
AHHHHHHHHHHHH, soooooo good to have you back!
What is coming up for me to share is this wonderful teaching moment that had fantastic reverberations….When Christopher was about 11, he was starting to do the teenager/slacker/zoning out thing…..NOT ON MY SHIFT BUDDY!!! 😉 One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, “Ah, that’s just teenagers.” NO! It’s not! It’s feedback to parents (just like feelings give us feedback) of someone who feels disconnected. Just because many of teenagers act this way does not make it “acceptable” to live like this. I feel very strongly about this because the more awake you are, the more you see that it’s simply a reflection for how they feel inside, not a stage of life that has to happen.
Christopher was starting to exhibit these same signs so one day I took out a bright pad and cool pen and sat down next to him. I started doing math, which actually was very typical in our house. There were a number of years there where we would do hours of homework together EVERY night. He was the kind of kid who needed that at that age. Now at almost 15 (a week away!!!! YAY!) he is self-motivated and is doing great! YAY!!! (again;))
He asked me what I was doing. I finished my calculations….2,227 days! The number hit me hard in the stomach.”Huh?” he replied. “2,227 days is how many day you have left before you turn 18 and are officially on your own,” I said. “WHAT!” His eyes widened. He sat down, hard.
This is a lesson that has come up for me again and again lately. We all act like we have all this time in the world but in REALITY, no matter what you believe, we were ALL born and we will ALL die. When, is something we do not know but we make assumptions. In that moment I wanted to give him the give of perspective and appreciation because when kids (or anyone) DISCONNECTS those two qualities are not present to them.
I explained to Christophino (my nickname for him;)) that our goal was to give him as much information and skill as we could in those 18 years so that he could use them as a training ground for the rest of his life. I explained that life is about little choices we make EVERY moment of EVERY day. I brought up examples of kids around him that were starting to make choices that would give them results of a life of sadness or of efforting. I asked him if that is the path he wanted. He was taking it all in. You could tell that this was an AHA moment for him. Over the years since then we have reminded him of this lesson and when major stuff has come up for him we ask him to follow this simple check-in system… “Does this lead me down the road of what I want my life to look like or not?”
Creating this way of processing information and making choices is one that really works with him because over time he has seen it in action. The focus has shifted from us trying to be MEAN and UNFAIR to getting that the CHOICES he makes have consequences. He understands and appreciates that although we will always be his parents and there for him, this time of FREE food, shelter, clothes, fun stuff, etc. will not last forever. He will not always live with us – his parents, his sisters. There will be a time when he will miss this….There will be a time when we will ALL miss THIS! L That is a good lesson for all of us. There will be a time when EVERY one of your relationships will end. Everyone in your life will one day not be there. Either you go or they do.That is the natural law on this planet. NOTHING lasts forever. There will be a time when you will no longer where you do. Take it all in. BREATHE. This knowing is a gift, a FABULOUS, WONDERFUL GIFT!!!! J!
Bringing attention to the fact that this is going to happen is not going to make it happen sooner, it’s going to make your journey MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more enjoyable. It is the gift of time that we have. When people are on vacation they know their time is limited so they enjoy each and every moment of their time. Often people who live where you went on vacation have never gone to see the most of the cool places to see where they live. Why? Because they think they have nothing but time and one they will get to it….one day 😉
I request of you today to remember that our time on this planet is VERY short. ENJOY IT! TRULY bask in the wonderful glory of being where you are and who you are with. These are precious gifts most of us who live mediocre lives take for granted. Watch what happens to you when you make it a point to remember that your time (and theirs) is limited……OH YA BABY! LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
Have a wonderful Saturday!!!!!!!!
Great big hugs,