See the picture on the left? That is my 17 year old son with his daddy. Ryan was around two years old and he loved his daddy.
Ryan has changed a lot.
Shannon has too I guess, bu this mustache is as big as ever -- maybe bigger (and it is more white now than red).
This is the kind of moment I love to witness between my children and their daddy (and my husband). When they are enjoying each other's company, loving each other, I feel loved all around even if I am not part of the moment.
Here's another favorite picture of mine. This is my oldest daughter with Shannon Christmas Day a few years ago. I've lost track but it might have been four years ago already. If so my daughter is 11 in this picture. She and Shannon were going out to cross country ski down the roads in our tiny town. It was a gorgeous day. Even our little hairy dog went with them.
As girls do, Cheyenne has changed a whole bunch. She now looks way too mature at age 15. I often wish I could put her back in pigtails and jumpers (the kind like a dress) or overalls.
And sometimes this might bring about yelling matches between the almost grown child and the father.
What does a mother do?
When this was a new thing I found myself trying to "fix it" between my child and my husband. I tried to get them to reason, but inevitably it would just mess it up. My husband would get mad thinking I was taking the child's side, and the child would be hurt because he or she felt like their dad was disappointed in him or her.
This is so hard for a mom to learn to navigate correctly. When it happens I still want to stick up for my child. I want to calm everyone down and help them all see how much everyone loves everyone, how their dad loves them and is proud of them even if he isn't happy with their present behavior....
I don't always get it right. Often I don't. I am a lot better at it than I used to be, but when my kids hurt I hurt. When My husband is frustrated I can feel that too. I feel like a bridge that no one can cross at times. I see what each side wants to communicate but it doesn't get communicated in a way the other side can understand.
I read something today about everything we do should be for the edification and building up of each other. Moms, we have a tough job sometimes when it is between our husbands and children. We should never make our husbands feel belittled or "put in their place" so to speak. Somehow we got to walk that tightrope between the two warring camps (that is how it feels at times) without causing harm while encouraging at the same time.
And we want to make sure our kids know they are loved no matter what.
"let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9
If you stick it out, I promise it will get better. It is a phase - - a tough one - -but just some growing pains that need to happen for our children to reach independence.
"fight the good fight" 1 Timothy 1:18c
Growing up is hard. Growing emotionally mature is difficult, painful at times. Many adults never do grow emotionally mature because it is so painful.....
Don't get discouraged. Also, it sure helped me to know that this kind of conflict is typical in a household in these in-between stages.
Be prayerful, be loving, be ever hopeful and encouraging.