Parent in Progress (Teen)

Just press play:


For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is teIMG_2793mporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:17-18 (NIV)

Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, BUM

The perfect song starts with a steady beat…bum, bum, bum. Anticipation building, then they give us a final, more emphatic beat.


Next, there’s a pause of promise. The harmonies begin, blending sweet. Then you realize. You realize…no, you feel that the chord progressions make an undefinable sense. 

I could listen to this song forever.

Yet there’s a slight dissonance.

Then it resolves. And at that moment when it resolves, you have this feeling as if everything is right.


You exhale.

But parenting…is like a song that never resolves. It’s like some beautiful, strange, ugly, amazing math formula that you can never solve.

It should all add up.

“Train up a child in the way he should go…”

A simple formula, right?

You like simple, don’t you, Laura? You look at other people, half-knowledge, jealous of what appears to be the cookie cutter.

There should be a proud mommy moment.

Stop looking! But you’re Lot’s wife and heed no warning.

Does a pillar of salt easily break?

“I didn’t want to disappoint you.”

“No more.” There’s a command in my voice but a question in my heart.

Eyes, unsure, look back at me. Can I trust you, Mom? Or what do you mean, Mom? Or I don’t know why, Mom.

None of us have the answer.

There may be no answer.

Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, BUM.

God enters the scene. Maybe He never left.

He didn’t.

He whispers, “Follow me.”

“Look at me.”

“Hope in me.”

He opens His arms, so I cry there for a day. Eyes all closed. He tells me it’s okay to be sad.

For now.

Next, He questions me about why. Is it because of the action or a parent’s fragile glass dream?

He reminds me of my own proud mommy moments.

“Mommy, do you need help?”


An unexpected gift!


Flashing water lights on the ceiling of the sanctuary. Praising God in a sure voice. So immersed.

Praise and Service.

A silly puppo text with a picture to boot.


Knowing it would get to me, arms, achingly familiar, wrap around me as I cry over a sad ending.


A long hug the day after this conversation.


“Didn’t I tell, you, Laura?” He reminds.

My dreams are not your dreams.

“Didn’t I say that you’re going to be blown away with what I do?”


“My notes don’t resolve until the end.”

At the decrescendo, He gives me a gift. Even with the dissonance, He gives me a glimpse—a sigh of relief and a small smile on my child’s face.

I exhale.

Authors note: In case you’re wondering, I have permission from my family to post this. I plan, moreover, to write more about parenting teens because I feel for them–teens and their parents. I am one, after all. Parents of little ones, I’m not telling you that it’s easy. It’s not. In fact, a lot depends on your individual circumstances. But you’ve only tasted the first course of a meal that’s sometimes rancid, sometimes unbearably sweet. There’s nothing quite like parenting a young adult. As Betty Davis said: “Fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”*

*AMC Classic Ten – Misquotes from the Movies. Yeah, Davis actually said night not ride. Go figure.




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