Cry Me A River
April 28th, 2008 by Sonja

I had a little party the other morning. A tiny little pity party. It was a party for three … me, myself and I. We were all invited and we all showed up. Lemme ‘splain.

Light GirlLightGirl is fourteen. It’s a wonderful age and it’s a terrible age. There are times when I really, really love this age. This morning was not one of them. Many times she seems as if her sole purpose in life is to reject every single thing about me. To reject me myself. That hurts. As much as I know about teen development. As much as I know about how she needs to do this and it’s all part of growing up and taking on who she is going to be. As much as I know about this process of separation, maturation and how necessary it is. It still hurts. I had a flashback that morning of the few moments after she was born when she was in the basinette and we locked eyes. I completely and utterly fell in love with her in that moment. She has been the apple of my eye ever since. She’s not perfect. I know her weaknesses. I know her strengths. But she’s my girl and I love her, warts and all (as a favorite math teacher used to say). This particular part of the process seems unduly difficult.

One thing it does though is continually remind me of her “otherness.” I suppose that is part of the purpose. For so much of our children’s childhood they are in one form or another an extension of us, that we need this reminder that they are, in fact, other than us. They will grow up to be individuals with their own preferences, strengths, weaknesses, idols, and needs.

We know consciously that other people are “other.” But how often do we know this with our heart and soul, not just our minds? How often do we turn our perceptions around and begin to attempt to perceive them not with our lens, but theirs? How often do we begin to try to love others not as we want to be loved, but as they wish? Or offer an apology that is not the apology that we want, but the one that they need? What a struggle it is to step out of our own skin and attempt to perceive life not with our own senses, but with someone else’s. Not with our own memories but another’s.

Yet, is that not the call of Christ in our lives? To love our neighbor as ourselves. May it be to me as She has said.

3 Responses  
  • grace writes:
    April 28th, 20088:25 amat

    14 was when my IQ took a huge drop in the eyes of my children too. It was interesting that you put a missional twist on this. My missional post today is also about the lens through which we view others. I think it all starts with eyes to see.

  • Erin writes:
    April 28th, 200811:12 pmat

    My oldest is only 12 and I’m already stupid to him. This is a tough lesson, but a really good point. At some point in adolescence we are forced to learn that we are no longer the center of their universe…and I like what you said about thinking about the other.

    And I suppose we all have to learn that we are not the center of the universe to whoever we are talking to. I fail at that every day.

  • Barb writes:
    April 29th, 200812:25 pmat

    Wonderful post. As a mom of 4 teenage girls it was always a struggle to see from thier eyes. Teenage daughter eyes have the most amazing propensity for distorting the world. Yet to be able to communicate, you have to also see the distortion. It taught me something though and I am able to use it in other situations. Great thought for this morning.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa