Learning from Our Children

Here's a list of some of the things that we are guaranteed to learn when there are teenagers in the house:

Humility:

Just yesterday my son was walking by me and threw this over his shoulder: "Dad, is that how much more of your hair turned gray while I was out of town, or did someone spray paint the side of your head?"

Justice:

Just remember what we used to do when we were teens, and the old adage "what goes around comes around" comes to mind. If you don't believe me, just ask the President. My wife remembers an occasion when her sister was acting especially ornery. Her mother turned around slowly and said "I hope that one day you have a daughter who acts just like you." Rebekah ducked and swore that she could hear the curse ricocheting around the kitchen.

Diplomacy:

If you have never had a teenage girl stand in front of you thirty seconds before the school bus leaves and ask how a genuinely awful outfit looks, then you have never had to use diplomacy skills on your feet before. Also try: "Does this stain on my favorite shirt really show?" and "Do these shoes match my outfit?" Veterans know that there are no correct answers, only degrees of disaster.

ESP:

Our daughter has developed the skill of being able to roll her eyes at us so effectively that we can tell even when her back is turned. Corollary to that is our amazing ability to read both of the children's minds. Usually I wish I couldn't, because I didn't want to know that badly what they thought of me after our little disagreement. But it does come in handy when they are trying to pull one over on us. I'm also fluent in muttering up to at least thirty feet.

Restraint:

Rebekah and I usually have to use this one on each other. "We'll talk later, children, your father is just going back to our room for a little time-out." "No dear, Hell isn't scheduled to freeze over before the weekend. I'm sure what your father really meant was that you can have the car keys back tomorrow..."

How about a sense of humor: If you weren't issued with one, teenage children will certainly provide every opportunity to help you learn. "OK, so you locked BOTH sets of keys in the car".... "And the window fell out of your bedroom how?".... "Explain to me again why I didn't know that thirty kids from the youth group will be at our house in fifteen minutes..."

Religion:

Don't misunderstand me, I have always believed in God. But I didn't really learn what quality time on my knees meant until we had teenagers in the house. Every day, every crisis, every time they turn the keys in the car, every misunderstanding, every time we enter their rooms -even at this age - and simply watch them sleeping... "Thank you, God," we say, "for this wonderful gift, and guide us as we help them grow. Please enter this relationship with Your grace, and Your peace."

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