I Can’t Stop Time

I can’t figure out how I feel about my kids growing up. Our 14-year old Camille is about to become our 15-year old, and she’s already talking about learning to drive. She’s talking about more than I am! Where’s the little pumpkin who used to call her forehead her “headbrow?”

Our son Meyer is 11. We adopted him from Haiti 5 years ago when he was six. At the time he spoke no English, had never ridden a bike or even used scissors. Now he is known as “The Flash” on his flag football team.

Camille went to a real night time teenager party with both boys and girls. (Yikes!) Meyer is already probably more handy around the house than I am. Camille recommends classic novels to us! She’s got me reading Dickens’ "Nicholas Nickelby." I can’t bring the cute, little kid versions of them back. I can’t stop time.

Actually I’m not sure I want to. I have always said I’ve enjoyed each stage of being their dad more than the last. But I’m afraid the time is going by too fast. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. If I can’t slow time down, I want to make the most of the time ahead. I want to cultivate the kind of relationship that remains close into adulthood. I want to be able to go from parent to friend and confidant as Camille and Meyer move into adulthood. If you’re in our stage of life, you can probably relate. If you’ve gone through this transition successfully, I admire you. Maybe we should talk! Share your advice in the comments.

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  1. BarbaraW_2 posted on 10/09/2013 09:33 AM
    I remember those times. They go by in a blink. If you do the best you can as a parent, you will have the relationship you want when they are adults. There will be an adjustment time, but it will happen. They may not like each other for a time, but this too will pass. My kids are in their late thirties, and we are a wonderful group of friends. Busy lives, all over the place, but we talk all the time, and we get together for a meal once a month. I often just sit back and listen; kids and grands, conversation abounds, and I am truly blessed.
  2. SharonB_9 posted on 10/09/2013 10:33 AM
    Always keep communications open. And remember, fads come and go, try to be flexible (different color hair, bracelets of leather, etc.), because as adults they will look back on all of it as part of their learning experiences. It is so hard (and unbelievable!) so see our children grow up. Our 3 children are in their mid-40's now. And we have 9 wonderful grandchildren!! One 20 yr old grandson just getting ready to graduate Basic Military Training for the Air Force!! Enjoy each and every moment, year, and pray the Lord watches over all.
  3. AngieC_5567 posted on 10/09/2013 10:40 AM
    Steve, I can so relate. My kids are 12 and 15 (turning 16 this Saturday - look out greater Seattle area!). I recall a time when the oldest grew out of watching Dragon Tales. I commented to him that i was sad he no longer watched it. He started crying, saying "You don't want me to grow up!" He was right - I didn't. But that moment taught me so much. God has programmed them to want to grow up. They have to grow up. And we have to let them, blessing them each step of the way, not holding them back, letting them spread their wings and fly, and sometimes kicking them out of the nest (I've had to do that at certain stages along the way). What an inspiring journey. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of children.
  4. DaveS_3 posted on 10/09/2013 11:25 AM
    Totally understand dude. Our oldest is 16, a Junior in HS, is driving and thinking about her post high school future. Our youngest is turning 14 on Saturday, she wants a boyfriend and could spend 24 hrs with her best friend if it were possible. They grow up fast! It seemed just yesterday that they were 5 and 3, we carried them up to their beds in their night gowns and tucked them in. We do still get the I Love You's at bedtime but it's not the same. On the plus side I get to share my view of the world with them and I get to hear theirs. Some of the things they explain are amazing - "Look at what my little 5 year old just told me!" Oh, wait...

    In 2009 my wife and I separated for a year then we both found Jesus and we have been great ever since. Through this and other blessings I get to explain to them how wonderful their life can be with Jesus in it and how lucky our family is. We have a friendship, joke around, and tease each other but I'm a father and dad before anything else and they understand this.

    As parents it's hard but there comes a time when over time we must let go, point the way, and give them the information they need to take that next journey into adulthood. The rest is between them and the Lord, just as it was with us when we were at that point in our lives.
  5. JudithN posted on 10/09/2013 12:18 PM
    oh my how they do grow. Then they have kids who grow too fast. If I could stop time for one day, one hour, one minute just to sit at Gods feet and absorb wisdom. When I was drowning in diapers & laundry I felt like it would never end. I couldn't wait to potty train them. But then when they got mobile, they cuddled less & I missed holding them & breathing in that innocent infant perfume. I wanted them to talk so we could see what was whirring in their minds. Then when they became vocal, opinionated teens, I often drifted back in my mind to the days they drooled & bubbled speaking only with their eyes. When I think that God sees me the way I see my kids, I understand discipline & mercy better. I picture God flipping through an album filled with photos of my progression. From the clumsy, awkward years to the ornery know it all He has loved me. I still dont take discipline well, but, I KNOW that my father loves me and that is the love I want my kids to know.
  6. KathyV_3 posted on 10/09/2013 08:38 PM
    Steve, the most important lesson we learned regarding raising an only daughter, is she needs to know the rules. AS the rules say you care about her well being. NO matter How hard those rules are, be firm to your convictions. She may hate your for it, but she'll love you later in life. God calls us to discipline our children & lack of causes them pain & us too. Our daughter went roug at 13, she returned to us at 23 a much better person. I praise God for His guidance, despite I was the "father" figure & disciplinarian. As far as a son goes, be a good example & be genuine. When you miss the mark or honestly screw up, say so, forgive yourself & as for forgiveness, we aren't perfect. Blessings Steve, I'll pray as the Lord leads, Kathy
  7. Froglady posted on 10/10/2013 08:06 PM
    Steve,

    The Lord never gives us more than we can handle, nor is he ever far away when we ask for help. Kids are funny little creatures and some how they pick up the best of us to carry on with them. Having 4 children, 3 sons whom we adopted, a set of twins who were 6 when they came to their forever home (17 prior homes) and the youngest at 27 hours old, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter from my first marriage. From raising these beautiful children into fine young adults, I learned that God has to be present every day in every way, sports are the finest way to build strong characters, they will never be this age tomorrow. For each day changes as God has planned great things for them. Just be yourself, truthful, honest and live as God has taught us through his word. Oh one more thing just remember " You can not put an old head on young shoulders". They will form their own opinions and be their own person. God Bless you'll do just fine...make a few mistakes....get up the next day and do it again...
  8. Zoe posted on 10/23/2013 11:59 PM
    My son is 14, and my younger child is 9. This time has been hard for me, to see him change from day-to-day. I knew this was going to happen. I teach high school (Masters in Child Development even), but it is different when they are your own. I am reading a wonderful book-the 'Wonder of Boys', written by Michael Gurian (They also have one for girls. He has helped me to see that I am no longer managing his behavior- I am guiding him, and mentoring him into adulthood. I am here to not necessarily give the answers-but to help him see the options available to him -to choose from (with God's help of course)! We do have family 'norms'. Meaning we will not let him roam around the neighborhood whenever he wants. I found it odd when a friend of his asked me what time is my sons 'curfew'. I thought what?-he is only 14-there is no curfew-he cannot come and go as he pleases! If he has a place to go-I will take him, and pick him up-never on school nights or Sundays. Our family values are that Family/School/church comes first-then sports-then friends:) It works for us-he doesn't like it all the time, but that's ok, he doesn't have to like everything we do-that's part of learning how to adapt to things.When he gets older-more time alone will be given, if he continues to show us he is responsible. I trust him-he knows that., which is good . He has God in his heart. It is my job to protect him and to guide him to make wise choices. I am not a 'friend' , I am a 'parent-mentor'. I ask God everyday for Wisdom and for the right words to help guide my children. It is sad sometimes to see my once chunky cheek, son , who always said, 'It is froggy outside mommy'!, when it was foggy, to move on into this next stage. It often feels, oh so bitter sweet. Prayers are with you on this journey.
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