This is the first time in 23 years I haven't sent a child out the door with a bag full of classroom Valentines and a decorated box. It feels weird. So I'm in a reflective mood...
Wayne and I got to teach "The 5 Love Languages" to our ward on Saturday. It was a blessing. I found myself thinking about my mom a lot. I channeled her and said all of the "right" things and even used many of her examples. I could hear her in my head. She was so good at sharing this and so many other things ( Color Code, Essence)...and her love with many, many people.
What a treasure I had having her as my Mom.
My friend, Karen Nickl, also talked about relationships. Karen is a family therapist and she is so wise. What really spoke to me was when she talked about letting go of expectations and just being more loving and speaking with love. Never a harsh word. Never speak in anger.
As I'm struggling with teenager Laila, I try to recall my own teenage years and how I was and what I kept from or shared with my mom. I know I had secrets. I definitely had struggles. I know I didn't talk about my crushes. I didn't want to have the no dating til 16 lecture...again. I know I didn't share much about the friend drama at school. I didn't want her to "solve" my problems...and she just didn't get it. I know I was insecure about the black hair on my upper lip....and my body image. I know I wanted her to think of me as "more together" than I actually was.
I guess I was not much different than Laila is today. Don't get me wrong....being a teenager is more tough today with so much social access on phones and moral temptations on computers. But we are still a like in so many teenagerish ways.
Laila is upstairs trying to figure out what to wear to school today and how to do her hair just so because there is a Valentine's dance at the Junior High. Oh my. Talk abut a hot bed of disappointment. All of these pubescent girls that care too much and boys that don't care at all.
I told her to not put too much stock in who dances with whom...and if she wanted to dance to NOT wait for a boy to ask her on to the dance floor. JUST DANCE. That's what I wish I would have done during my torturous JR. High dance years.
|Laila 4 years old....she was rocking it...singing I am a Child of God at the top of her lungs. 2006|
I love this girl. I love the person she is struggling to become. She won't let me take her picture anymore because she "doesn't look good"...whatever.We will make it through the next 6 years and beyond with a strong relationship....I'm going to do the best I can on my side to ensure this happens. Never a harsh word. Never speak in anger. Lower my expectations on things that really don't matter and just LOVE.
That's my Valentine advice.