New Chapters

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It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I am currently smack dab in the middle of  a new chapter of parenting – I am selfish, not wanting to close the previous. It seems like only yesterday that I was helping her tie her shoes and brushing her hair. I selfishly miss those things. Okay, so I miss shopping at Carter’s and Osh Gosh too!!! Looking back, I can’t say that everything was easier, just different. Change is difficult, but I know, necessary for moving forward.

I am currently reading, “Mom’s Ultimate Guide to the Tween Girl World” by Nancy Rue. Or should I say I am drowning myself in this new information. I need a snorkle! The more I read, the more I feel like I should be taking manual notes..which I am! I resemble the commercial for info overload. Now, just to apply it. I can tell you…it is requiring more questioning of myself than I had bargained for, and I may need some knee pads to keep up with the extra prayer vigils. For me, not necessarily her!

I wonder if it has anything to do with being a mom at the latter age of 33? I feel like I am always trying to catch up? Most of my peers are already grandparents so they have long since closed some of these same chapters. Regardless, I am thankful just the same. I have never doubted that God’s timing is anything less than divinely ordered.  Ecclesiastes 3!

So, I continue to read..pray…mess up…falter and fail…and sometimes? Well, sometimes I get it right. I like those days! I also have a deeper appreciation for my own mother. I’m glad she didn’t use the “Throw-Her-to-the-Wolves Method” of parenting. Let me sink or swim.. I am thankful that she gave me the tools to make good decisions, whether I used them or not.. atleast I had them.

I will just say, Wow! what a difference a few years can make.  I seem to become less and less needed, and she becomes more and more self-sufficient. Being an only child.. she was able to put it off a little longer I guess!  She’s trying to find her way. I read more about the “Greenhouse Approach” to parenting… “If she doesn’t know about it, she won’t do it.”  I am guilty of trying this a few times.  I like the safe-zone. But, common sense still reels me back into reality. How I wish this was a reasonable approach at times! In the meantime, I will try to be her traffic cones…her guardrails in life…instead of a roadblock, obstructing her progress. It’s hard!!!!

At the age of 12, she really wasn’t all  that impressed on being in the cow picture anymore.. but she humored me one more time. I think she knew that I was trying my best to close this chapter as gently as I could. I appreciate her compassion for me in this area. It was still a great moment, embarking on our new chapter together.  God has a way of bridging the gap between my ability to see her and how she needs and wants to be seen.

Honestly, this chapter seems to be a little tricky? I think the rules are changing right before my very eyes. It’s going to require me to get by on even more Grace..a whole lot of it! and let’s not forget those knee pads!!!!

My goal is to embrace whatever chapter we happen to be in the middle of, never take any moment for granted, and have the least amount of regrets as possible. One of my favorite quotes is “that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most.”

Do you embrace “New Chapters?” scary sometimes huh? every new beginning is scary, but in hindsight, it’s usually not as bad as you originally feared! I am sure that I will remind myself of these words- frequently in the days to come!

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