Long distance parenting 

Long distance parenting 

Being a parent long distant is agonizing lots of times. I try to have regular communication without appearing to be a helicopter parent which is challenging from a state away. Plus he’s a teenager and you want to give them some space, room to make decisions, and try to find the balance between it all.

Ugh! Today is a trial. He’s got stuff but doesn’t want to talk about. I have stuff and don’t want to burden him. We’re a pair for sure. How to turn a depressing day into a laugh – make fun, crack jokes, do something crazy – and I’m doing all that by text because that’s the way we communicate the most. Easiest way to have a conversation without being interrupted a million times by others. Sad but true. 

Life isn’t easy and it seems to come bottled in the form of a struggle for me most of the time. What I wouldn’t give for a smooth path on occasion except then I remember there is probably a reason I’m dealing with this trial in my life. Bless the Lord o’ my soul….that verse keeps drifting through my mind. We both need some blessing hence the reason it’s floating around up in that crazy head of mine.

Things that just tear me up about being a long distant parent are those times when I would like to cook his favorite food or go to Sonic to get a Route 44. Like today after I left the dentist our normal routine is to hit up Sonic but no kid, so I opted to not make the trip. I made a version of his favorite food last night which made me miss him. Probably why I feel all melancholy and then to find out he had a bad day too. Well crud.

My trusty companion, Ginger, is more than happy to share in his favorite food except that little rat terrier is on a diet! She scavenges through any bag left unattended, trash or scraps thrown out by the neighbors. Devil dog. Not the same as cooking for my kid and trying to cheer him up after a bad day.

Life kicks us down. Maybe stomps us a few times which is fine I’ll just pick myself up. Ok maybe drag. And then I get on with what needs to happen. When it’s your child you want to coddle, protect, listen…hard to do from here. 

I was looking through pictures and saw the one of him walking the tightrope and thought isn’t that how life is lots of time. We pray we make it from one safe area to another without falling but it’s a tricky walk. Lots of times we fall. I know the day he went indoor climbing he fell off that rope lots of times. I’ll always be there for him but there’s a lessons for each of us as we walk our own ropes through life. Praying we both stay steady for awhile! It’s a new version of Jesus take the wheel.


-G.

Advertisements

Finding the right acorn

Finding the right acorn

Recently I was re-reading a book that I enjoy. It’s real life practicality stands out to me. This is my second time to read it and new items stand out like never before. Probably due to where I am in my life and what I want from it. Expectations! They play a huge part in our lives. We expect one thing and get something completely different. It can be good, bad, ugly or indifferent. 

I read a line that compared our lives to a weekend. An eternity is a significant amount of time but when you stack up a lifetime it’s a weekend. I’d like to say my weekend is sunny and bright. Full of love and fun….oh please you know there’s a thunderstorm up in the middle of that day along with a big freaking fight somewhere. That’s real life or the reality of “the weekend”. 

How do you weather the storms? How do you come back from a fight, especially with someone you love? If you read my last blog you know I talk about my thoughts on a Proverbs 31 woman. As I study and mature in the word I’ve realized that you have to love that person more than yourself. That’s a big deal because self likes to pop up in a fight and win! 

I’m the competitive sort and that goes for about anything. A fight with words…oh I got this. Got it so well that the other person walks away wounded and annihilated. I’m talking about people I care about! Just think how I deal with those I don’t. Not pretty but true. God says I’m supposed to treat everyone with love. Ep 3:17 being rooted and established in love. This is an area for me to work on obviously and I have been for a long time. I’ve struggled through dealing with anger since I was a kid. Although it took until I was an adult to get a true grip on it. Not saying I don’t get mad because I do. Many times what we mistake as anger is really disappointment. Got to be able to recognize the difference. 

One of the things I decided for myself after my divorce was to make the decision to get back in church. Partly for myself but also for my son. I had not been raising him with any of the fundamental knowledge that I grew up knowing. I felt like I was failing in my duty as a parent to raise my child to know God and to know the word. Finding a church is like finding a prized acorn in the middle of the forest! 

Some may think I’m odd or maybe you’ve never had this kind of experience, but I listen with my inner self to know when I’m in the right place. I’m talking about church still. We attended my grandparents church for awhile but it wasn’t the one God was calling me to. Finally after a series of events I came to be in my current church one Sunday morning. The pastor was on a mission trip, the person preaching wasn’t really my style but you know what that’s where I was called. I came back the next weekend and heard the pastor. My son loved the church AND this wasn’t his idea of fun – we kept attending. Finally I prayed ‘if I’m supposed to join this church God just make it clear so I know’…fyi I can be slow to pick up his clues. Preacher starts preaching and it’s about being a part of the church – hello got the message loud and clear. 

What I didn’t expect was that when I went to join that my son would decide that he would too. I was saved and baptized at 8 years old, but I had neglected my duties as a parent. I didn’t think my son was saved. I got a surprise that day because he was making a public profession of faith, because he’d asked God into his heart well before that day. My feelings of failing fell by the wayside. I was ecstatic that somehow God had taken care of my son even when I felt like a failure. Even when I felt like the crappiest parent in the world! To some this may not even rank on your list of bad parenting but to me it was huge. Fortunately he grants me Grace and mercy even when I don’t deserve it. Romans 10:9 

Now that I ponder on this: finding a church, the person to have a lasting relationship with, meaning to life, satisfying career – it’s all like finding that one prized acorn. The odds of getting it right are staggering! Especially if you think you can do it all on your own. I know for a fact I need my posse, friends, family and faith if I’m ever going to get anything right. That could be a depressing thought but I swing the other way – full of positivity! I’d rather have people alongside me supporting and cheering me on than to have nothing. They can also act as a voice of reason if I get a little too crazy! Just keepin’ it real.

-G.

*Photo by Tim Ernst