There is a rhythm of travel and for those who learn to go with the rhythm travel is much easier. There are many who try to go against those rhythms and they are the people in the airport who shove stewardesses (yes I’ve seen it), cuss out ticket agents (yes I’ve heard it) and make fools of themselves! And guess what the situation doesn’t change. Late flights are late, you are not going to change that. The only thing you can do is embrace the rhythm and move with it, not against it.
It is the same in life. Life has a rhythm. It has ups and downs, straight aways and curves, hills and valleys. Sometimes it is smooth sailing and sometimes you hit every red light. And guess what? You are not going to change the rhythm of life, However you can change your response to the rhythm.
Parenting is probably the hardest rhythm to embrace to dance to if you will. The rhythm makes sense and can swing a mood in seconds. Up tempo, then a dirge, it’s like some bad mash up. I have 4 adult children and every stage has its easy moments and hard moments. That’s the rhythm of parenting. Somethings are predictable but it doesn’t make it any easier.
Babies…We all know babies don’t sleep, and they are demanding. It is hard to find someone surprised that a baby cries, or dirties a diaper or wants to be fed, or spits up. We all know the predictables of a baby. Being predictable doesn’t make it an easier, but at least it doesn’t catch you off guard.
Toddlers, who doesn’t know that toddlers are selfish? That’s what I thought. So predictable, next…
Elementary years, the sweet years, the tender years. However second grade girls are mean, even yours. These are the years filled with fundraisers, activities and school events. And of course so many trophies. Congratulations on breathing all year, have a slice of pizza and capri-sun and of course a trophy. Not a fan of the trophy syndrome.
The teenage years. Oh the crazy rhythm of a teenager. Now I for one loved the teenage years. This is when they become people (granted not always likeable people, but people). They have lives, stories, drama, news…They are leaning to be independent and think about the future and on good days think about others. With teenagers, the only thing predictable is they eat a lot, sleep a lot, and their moods are unpredictable.
My current and will be my last stage is one of the most challenging, parenting adult children. No one talks about this. No blogs, books or support groups. I remember 20 years ago realizing that I was actually going to be a mom forever. I guess I thought after 18 years I was finished.
News flash you are never finished being a parent. But, everything does change (as it should) once your kiddos become adults (18+). There is a new rhythm and you must learn to dance when and only when you are asked.
These are the years you pray. These are the years filled with grown up decisions and grown up consequences.
You pray even more than you did in the teenage years.
You pray that they will seek first the kingdom.
You pray that the enemy would be kept far from their marriages.
You pray that they will come to you in time of need.
You pray that they will know that you love them, that you will not judge (you must not judge), and that you will walk alongside them (you must not lead).
And above all you cannot rescue them. Walk alongside yes, but to rescue is to weaken.
Yes these years requires great adjustments, but these years are amazingly beautiful.
Stay out of the way, pray and… dance when invited. This is the rhythm of parenting adult children.