Who’s Afraid of Teenagers?

For some reason, when a woman with more than the usual 1.8 children goes out into public, people feel the need to comment about our large family, though my kids don’t consider us a large family at all.

Most of the time, I know the commenter is meaning well, and they are saying anything just to comment in some way because they’ve taken notice of our family, and not really meaning to be offensive. That’s what I assume anyway. Sometimes they say things that can echo in my mind like a bad nightmare when I’m lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep.

When I had 5 children ages 6 and under, I commonly heard from others a variation on this popular comment:

Oh my, you have your hands full!

Not really too terrible. It’s true. Hands (and everything else) were definitely full. But sometimes they’d interject:

Do you realize you’re going to have five teenagers at once? You poor woman!

or

Just wait til their teenagers and tell me if they’re still a blessing.

I usually would shoot back something encouraging and full of faith like “They don’t have to turn out like the cultural idea of “teenagers” you’re thinking of…” but the truth is, I only had faith to go on in this regard, and not having teenagers myself, I had no idea what the future held.

After all, most of the conservative authors I’d read in regards to parenting, who insisted that children didn’t have to turn into the cultural idea of teenagers also were insistent that this only happened when there was no television in the home, and daddy was actively the spiritual leader of the home, neither of which were true in our home, no matter how often I prayed for the TV to go away, or for my hubby to fit the standards everyone else laid out.

Entering the Five Teenagers Zone

My youngest daughter entered the youth group two weeks ago. I now have five teenagers. I need to share something with you:

  • They’re still blessings.
  • They didn’t go off the rails when they hit double digits
  • They love God.
  • When I’m sick, they go to church without me, and without anyone “making them”.
  • We all of the same music on our mp3 playlists — I like their music and they like mine.
  • They serve God in our local church (nursery, working the sound board, working in the kitchen, helping out where ever they can, soul winning, VBS, bus ministry, etc.)
  • They’re fun to be around
  • They’re all slobs except one… (had to throw that in lest you think it’s all sunshine and roses around here.)

Because people claim I look young, they sometimes will say to me, when they find out I have five children, “Oh wait til their teenagers!”

I love answering back, “They ARE teenagers, and I love it!”

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