This is a post I wrote 2 years ago. Bethany is now 19, a freshman at Seattle University, Becca is 16 and a Junior at Kings High School and Nate is 14, an 8th grader at Shoreline Christian School. This is a peek into one of my parenting days 2 years ago and how soulful moments with my kids bring me life and joy.
My primary job at the moment is the parenting, chauffering and feeding of 3 teens: 17, 14 and 12. My life is full of interesting teenage and pre-teen moments that help me be present to my children and their friends. Today is just a small insight into my life. I helped out at Nathan’s Jr. high track practice after school. I enjoy being with his age group and volunteering at school because I get more time with him, see what his friends are like, and see what the coach is like. After practice a teammate of Nate’s was in need of a place to hang out as his parents needed to get his younger brother somewhere else at the same time. I got the boys some snacks and then headed over to my 14 year old daughter, Becca’s school, to pick her up from track practice. She is more often than not in a very happy mood after exercising (note to self that endorphines and exercise go well with teenage daughters!) Her cheery disposition after track practice and the 10 minute drive back home in the car help fill me in on the events of her day. Listening to teenage daughters when they are in the mood to chat is a joyful soulful moment for me. I listen, reflect and listen some more. After bringing her home, getting her a grilled cheese sandwich and prepping some stuff for the rest of the fam for dinner, the next batch of teenagers arrived. I had told my 17 year old daughter, Bethany, earlier in the day that I’d be grilling burgers if she’d like to invite her ‘spanish study group’ to come along. They all said,”Sure, we’ll eat Mrs. Richards burgers, we hear they’re the best.” I prepped the burgers, welcomed them in and then enjoyed sitting down for dinner with my 3 teens plus 4 extras. Yes, I could have said no to the extra teens in the household, but I chose to invite them in, feed them and hang out. I enjoyed interacting with everyone, it’s one of my soulful ways of practicing loving my kids and others.