My favorite holiday is finally here! No, it’s not because I will be sipping champagne and dancing until 2a.m. New Year’s Eve is much different for me and always has been. Our evening consists of celebrating my dad’s birthday (who will be 80) with soup, grilled cheese, and my mom’s homemade cake. We will then head to my hometown in Oriental, and run with the dragon. It lasts about 20 minutes, but it has been a tradition of mine since I was very young – and it’s probably the closest thing that I’ll ever get to Times Square.
New Year’s Eve is also a time to look ahead. I’ve heard of friends speak about their “word or phrase of the year”. I’ve never thought much about one myself, but over the past week, a phrase has been on my mind…………
Do The Things.
It probably doesn’t get much more vague than that, so I’ll explain. My youngest turned 13 a few days ago. My oldest will be 15 in a couple of months. It hit me that there’s not many more years left of their childhood. Sure, being a homeschool mom has given me thousands of hours more to be with them than most, but I can’t help but feel like the clock is ticking even faster now.
To me, the teenage years are possibly the most important years of parenting. Their dad and I have been their whole world since birth, but now their world is expanding. Homeschooling has allowed us to mold their minds and character on a daily basis. We are their primary guide, but they are individuals with growing minds and bodies. Hormones and attitudes come into play at this time. They are beginning to have their own ideas, making friends beyond our circle, and just growing up in general. It’s tough as a homeschool mom to
let go of gently release the control she’s had over the years.
That’s where my “do the things” phrase comes in. I am a dreamer with many ideas of things I want to do with my family. I think about activities, outings, and new adventures constantly. Where I fail at times is in actually “doing the things”. I am always planning and thinking in my head, but more times than I’d like to admit, “the things” never happened. “Doing the things” with them as teens is one of my top priorities in 2019. Whether it’s playing a board game, cooking a meal together, experiencing something different, or taking a mini vacation – I am going to make it happen. I want their memories of their teen years to be positive. I want their dad and I to still be their biggest influences in their newly expanding world. I want these short years to count.
As you’re thinking about the year ahead, I encourage you to “do the things” with your kids. Be an active part of their lives. Do the things with their friends sometime. I recently took the kids and a couple of friends to a trampoline park. This time I jumped with them, and it was fun! Include extended family. I am fortunate to have them close by. I want to take advantage of that this year. Take an interest in what they are interested in. Give them space, and enjoy watching them from a distance. You’re job is definitely not over. Make 2019 a year to “Do the Things”.
Happy New Year!