My children, who were once made of perfect innocence, have turned into wizards.
With a roll of their eyes I am banished into no man’s land.
My words are gobbled up by their minds and spit out into indiscernible sentences. They can make anything I say mean whatever they want by taking poetic license with all that enters their ears.
The dark magic is carelessly used without regard for consequence. Consequence that are convoluted, and not even a little bit obvious to them.
My self-esteem being one of those consequences. And what teen cares of their parent’s merits?
My trips around the sun are not their trips around the sun; therefore, I am clueless to their suffering. Anything they endure I will not understand without pretending to understand. My wrinkles put me outside the realm of empathy. My quest to find peace in life bristles their wings.
Teenagers minds are the opposite of peace. They are chaos.
Though not by choice.
One cannot always see at first glance, but the chaos lives behind their eyes, where they try to make sense of a world that is teaching them one thing and showing them another.
Do the right thing…. but, right is wrong.
Be kind…. but, kindness is self-serving.
Find your happy place…. but, happiness is fake.
Trust in God…. but, God is for the befuddled.
You are loved…. but, love must be earned.
The last is most troubling. My children don't always see themselves worthy of love.
But my love for them exists beyond worthy measurements.
Love is not conditional when one is a parent. Love is there hell or high water. Love is brighter during the hard times. Love swirls within us no matter what the circumstance.
Or maybe they already know but apathy and despair each have a hand over their eyes.
It’s hard to see all the good when one exists in darkness. Light doesn’t stand a chance when walls are in the way.
Wall after wall is erected. I stand on the other side…sometimes knocking, sometimes chipping away the drywall with my fists, sometimes using the wall to slide down to the ground…to pray. Or to wallow in my self pity.
And when they feel alone I call to them:
“Take down the wall! I’m right here! You are never alone!”
They are disappointed in themselves and assume I must be too.
Yet, I am opposite of disappointed. I am proud when I see them peek above the walls…even for a second. My heart bursts with excitement and love…
They disappear as fast as they appear.
Children that were once full of light and laughter are now looking for meaning, yet they don’t have the wherewithal to actually look.
I have found that meaning. I would serve it to them on a golden platter if I could.
I would pour it down their throats if it would help.
But meaning isn’t something that can be given.
It is something that must be found.
Love and meaning can heal. But only if one wants healing.
Sometimes my teenagers suffer and my love doesn't seem to fix it.
But maybe, it’s helping. Deep down, somewhere, somehow, maybe my love is helping. And for as long as there is a maybe chance…I will actively love. And do what I can to encourage them to continue putting one foot in front of the other.
Until one day…maybe they will look up from their feet, and see the unconditional love and blessings that surround them and they'll become the light they didn't know they needed.
Until one day…the dark days, the teenager days, are gone.