Most of you know me very well and therefore know that I have four children. They are 17, 14, 12, and 9. So, I have three who are teenagers, or at least two "official" teenagers and one who is "hot on their heels". Then I have a 9 year old who is at times a sigh of relief in our home and at other times, another emotionally complex being in our home.
Emotionally complexity....that is some of what this entry is about. But, it is also about being together and quite simply, being a team. Because I am trying to respect my children's privacy, I will not elaborate on what all the "insanity" is. Just know that right now, our home is an emotionally complex place to be. There are a few sane moments here and there, but mostly, we are very emotionally charged and that isn't always a good thing. Even when things are good for one, that might mean that they are bad for another. When one has a friend over, sometimes the others are very unhappy with that. When one is doing well, another one is not and is not happy about it. When one is getting attention, another one needs it and is letting us know. So, we press forward, my husband and I "pooling" our saneness when we can and supporting each other in every way.
Sometimes I feel that it is almost too much to expect everyone to ride in the car together or sit down to eat together. I know, though, that the days of togetherness are short because the kids are growing up quickly, so I fight for the "team" every chance I get. I fight for family outings, family dinners (with manners), family movies, and family devotions. As we give some of ourselves to become a team, we become part of something bigger than ourselves - our family. I believe in teamwork. My family will fight me because they are each becoming their own person and I want that, but I also want them to continue to learn to give a little (or sometimes a lot). Hopefully, we are finding a happy medium. Meanwhile, I hope I am not asking them to give up too much of themselves.
Along those lines, last weekend, we were desperate to get our kids out of the house. When we announced a family outing, our kids immediately started whining. We almost gave up, but we pressed forward, making (and I do mean MAKING - for one of them physically) them go to a local preserve to walk in the woods for a bit and see the beautiful boulders there. As we drove up, their complaining became very vocal. But, again, we pressed forward. To sum it up, we ended up having a very blessed time running around, climbing (smaller) boulders, and watching the "pros" climb the really big boulders.
Later that evening, we bought a "fire pit", ate supper around the fire and for a final touch, made s'mores in our backyard. It made for a memorable day. For the most part, they were cooperative (at least after the initial display of rebellion). And everyone enjoyed it and had a good time. AND, my fighting for the team turned out really well. After the kids wandered off their different ways that evening, my husband and I felt very warm outside AND in sitting around the fire, enjoying the cool evening and braving the smoke blowing in our faces. You, my dear reader, enjoy the pictures and have a good time in your family, fighting for the team!!