I left the window open last night because finally the nights are getting cool and I love the fresh air. As I drifted off to sleep, cool breeze stirring the papers on my nightstand and the scent of a fire wafting through the air, I listened to the laughter and voices just below me enjoying the cool autumn night also. These were the voices of my daughter's friends, deep voices, not little squeaky, silly voices but the voices of teenage boys. They had all gathered outside on the porch to make smores and to laugh, talk and enjoy each others company. It made me smile.
Teenagers. Big bodies taking up all the furniture in our great room and spilling out onto the floor. Cheering for their favorite football team, eating hotdogs and snacks, and laughing hysterically. Girls sitting next to boys and NOT getting "cooties". We are changing seasons in our family. For so long we have had little ones, still do, that chatter, pretend, argue, giggle, play and require lots of hands on attendance . But now, now we are moving into another season of life called teenagers. And it is wonderful. I know, I know, teenagers? wonderful? I think sometimes teenagers get a bad reputation of being disrespectful, rude, self-centered, lazy and getting into trouble. But I have seen another side. These kids are polite, grateful, hard working, studious, kind and well behaved. They are a pleasure to be around and I enjoy my daughter and her friends. Now, before you get the wrong impression here and think things are "perfect", we do have the typical attitude, snippiness and so forth that goes along with kids growing up and becoming more independent and of course "knowing more than we do". But if you can look past those things, you see kids that have dreams, and kind hearts, hearts for mission trips, goals of playing college sports that require LOTS of hard work, hours of studying because grades ARE important to them, preparing birthday surprises for parents, painting incredible paintings, encouraging younger kids, supporting friends, and multitudes of other positives. I see young minds and hearts with big dreams for the future. I know they will make mistakes and have missteps but don't we all? They are on the edge of their beginning. They are getting ready to step out into life with all their ideas and dreams to meet the world head on and to change the world. I love listening to their dreams. It is encouraging and uplifting. They haven't been jaded yet. I hope they never get jaded. Those who are jaded don't believe in dreams and ideals anymore and I think that is sad. Where would the world be if we didn't have those who dreamed big and reached for the impossible?
So as we begin this new season, that will last for the next 15 years....WOW, I am going to embrace these young people, encourage them, pray for them, enjoy them. I am sure with 5 children and 15 more years of teenage we will have some bumps and snags. We will cross those bridges if they come. Life is short, seasons come and go, our kids grow and change, we grow and change and with each new, comes wonderful little surprises.....like deep voices and laughter that sing you to sleep on a cool autumn night.