Wednesday, June 01, 2011

just you wait!

no one has verbally complained
about all the continued chatter over here regarding graduation
& all the hoopla that has been our life for the last several weeks.
in fact 
many of you have left so many kind encouraging sweet notes regarding graduation
& for that , i thank you!

 one day soon i will talk & write about something other than this!
i pinky promise

but before i technically change the subject,
for those of you with daughters
i would love to encourage you with a little something first.

 let me first state the obvious
i've only had one graduate from high school
i still have two teenagers at home
& one little one who is rapidly approaching "that" age
so i'm no expert in the field of raising teenagers 
& clearly have no idea what to do with boys!

so here we go.
savannah & i have a great relationship.
she has a great relationship with her dad which i have LOVED watching flourish.
i've loved seeing her respect for him grow.
she has a great relationship with the Lord
& loves being at our church 
and serving the middle schoolers at our church.

but it wasn't always so perfect.

 the other night i was gooshing over what a great kid she was
 telling her my usual statement
that she's been a breeze to raise
she quickly reminded me that things weren't always so rosey.
honestly, besides just some attitude
she's only gotten in trouble with us once
so i didn't pick up what she was saying.
she quickly reminded me...."mom, you didn't like me much while i was in late middle school
& early highschool. don't you remember? we fought all the time?"
well she obviously doesn't understand the power of my poor memory!

honestly, sometimes i think our kids see our parenting,
our guiding ( while sometimes grumpy)
& our correction 
as "fighting".

unfortunately for her, she's the first born.
she had to travel the road of my single momness
more significantly than the other girls.
i can be bossy & i like order.
so that can make for some tight quarters.

all that to say
i'm thrilled, overflowing with joy
that now that it's time for her to leave
we are in a great place
& not "fighting".
she's the age where our correction has slowed way down.
she has earned many freedoms as far as curfew etc
so the rules aren't anything new, if anything, less.
trying to help her let go of being accountable to us
& more accountable to her heavenly father.

especially when the girls were younger
i would have a friend with older girls warn me
with the infamous
"just you wait"
just you wait for the attitude
just you wait for the expense
just you wait for them to really not like you.
just you wait.

now i know they meant well
& i have a sense of humor
what that also translated to me
was fear of the teenage years.
another infamous statement i heard more than once was something along the lines of
"God makes things get really bad with your teenager
to make it easier for you to send them out"
"she'll act so awful that you'll be more than happy to get her out of the house".
followed by
the ever encouraging
"just you wait".

years ago i vowed, if only to myself, to never say those words to a younger mom.

so i'm here today to tell you
it does not have to be that way.
these last few years of her living under our roof
we have purposefully tried to encourage her more
love on her more
allow her to make more decisions
freed up some rules
so that she will see that we trust her.
i think this trust translates acceptance and security to our kids.
which comes back to us with more respect.
& possibly because we made her feel more like an adult
she's acted more like an adult.

the last year before they leave does not have to be all arguments
all bad attitudes
all anger & fighting

it can be a time to reconcile
love on & encourage your teenager.
a time to heal wounds & mend bad habits
a time to build them up
a time to encourage them that they can succeed
a time to send them off with a full tank
not only in their car
but in their heart.
i can think of no other time in my parenting
when making her feel like we totally have her back
that we are proud of her
 & that we fully believe in her
has ever been as important as it is
this very moment.

the last few months of them living under the same roof
can be a great, awesome, life changing, precious, wonderful time....

just you wait!


traci said...

i couldn't agree with you more. it's not always a hard bumpy road. you have done a marvelous job raising savannah. she is a wonderful girl. i know you are so proud of her.

Deborah said...

I love the reason behind your "just you wait". I know your proud of your girls as they are proud of their parents.

Love your pictures (as usual)

Judy said...

teenage girls and moms....not always a good mix! My daughter and I had some real bumpy roads during some of those years but we made it through and now we are each other's best friend! She calls me every morning on her way to work and when her family is on vacation, she calls all the time.

My husband (not her biological dad but more of a daddy to her than her own father) loves her beyond words and she loves him too.

I can't imagine having 4 girls like you do but from what I can tell, you're doing a good job.
The attitude just comes with the territory!

Yes, you just wait Paige! There are wonderful times ahead, another chapter to be treasured with your sweet girl.


Just in Case.. said...

Wow!!! Those are beautiful shots!! :)

Love Being A Nonny said...

Ditto! Love this post! It offers encouragement to those who have yet to experience the JOY of a teenage daughter. Not that it's prefect...but it IS a joy! I have LOVED every end of year post you have posted! Haven't commented on all of them but have read every word and enjoyed every picture. Glad you are enjoying this time with them!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh, and JUST YOU WAIT until those grandbabies come....JUST. YOU. WAIT.!!!

A Thrifted Market said...

I agree 100 percent! My daughter is 20 and in nursing school and when I read and see your pics it so reminds me of my relationship with my sweet girl! I love our relationship and your right it does get better..just you wait! I love it!

Cheryl said...

The summer before Alexandra left for college, I beyond excited for her. I felt as though the school was a good choice, she was ready. Like you, we had our moments... she now tells me that she was most miserable to me when she knew I was right.... that didn't make those times easier. I digress.
The summer, I wore my sunglasses always. My eyes would, at random times fill with tears. I couldn't believe how fast the time had gone. Her life was beginning, and I knew she had the tools to do it well.
So..... just you wait...wear your sunglasses!!!!

Kristin said...

I love this post. If I was a Mom I would be encouraged! If any of these people knew Savannah in person, well they would see you are true with your words and just the real, confident, lovely, bold, quite smart and beautiful soul that simply loves God....job well done my friend. I think God would tell you that too! I know He would.


Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Paige, I have three sons and am expecting our first daughter. I am already fearful of the teenage years for both genders, mainly because of all the fear other people have put in me! Just like you said, I've gotten the "Just you wait" type of sentiment all too often. I am already in prayer that my experience will be more like yours. :) Congratulations on a beautiful family.

Sheri said...

Awesome awesome post Paige. It is different with boys but boys sure do put their mamas on a pedestal - at least mine does. He's still not too old or too big for me to lay next to at bed time and scratch his back - I have so enjoyed seeing him and his friends experience the highschool years - pretty much the only fighting that took place in our house was him and his sister - any advice on that - ah haaaaa. Congrats to you - you are an AWESOME mama Paige and I'm glad that God crossed our paths. Have a blessed day. xo

Big Mama said...

Paige, I love this so much. Thanks for the encouragement and the wisdom. I have a friend with older daughters that tells me the same thing and always tells me not to let people speak over me that whole thing about teenage daughters and mothers.

Love your heart.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this gift today. As the mother of two girls who are right now 12 and 9, I can't imagine ever fighting with them or having them be disrespectful of me or me resentful of them....I am hoping that our parenting and the kind of kids they are will save us from that - your words provided some much needed reassurance that not only will we survive the teen years, it is also possible to THRIVE in the teen years!

Katie said...

How refreshing!!

I am a brand new Mom and when I'm out in public with my Baby Girl and explain how much I enjoy her and being her Mommy, I ALWAYS get the "just you wait" talk. I got that all the time when I was pregnant too. "You think you're tired now, just you wait!"

I'm praying that I will have the same attitude you do when my daughter is older.

Anonymous said...

praise the Lord! thanks for sharing such sweet and encouraging words. when i found out that we were expecting a little girl with our first baby i was really terrified because i thought we would have horrible tensions all her growing up. she's only 16 months, but the Lord is already comforting me and teaching me that it shouldn't have to be that way. i am looking forward to the years ahead (even the teenage years!) and doing my best to disregard discouraging, though perhaps well-intentioned, foolish talk.

God bless your daughter as she steps out into a new season in life!

Shannon said...

Paige I love when you do posts on raising your girls! Keep them coming, I love your advice on this situation because your 4 girls look so happy and seem to have turned out so well.
I have already heard the advice about by the time they are ready to leave for college you are too and it has always bothered me. I promised myself I would never let myself feel that way and it's hard to even imagine wanting someone I love so much to leave and be happy they are finally out but for the wrong reasons. I can only hope and pray to have the type of strong relationship you have had with Savannah. Thank you for always sharing your inspiring situations with us!

Jen said...

I needed to read this today after having spent an evening shopping with my 14 year old. Late middle school/early high school...very tough! This post gives me hope that our days of being friends are just around the corner. (By the way, I've subscribed to your blog for a while. I've enjoyed the graduation posts.)

six chicks said...

How beautifully said! I am a proud Mom to six now adult "kids" (gosh that makes me sound OLD)! Just you just keeps on being a blessing!

Sandy said...

I love this post (and all your previous posts as well!). Senior year and graduation is an amazing time filled with excitement and lots of emotion. My oldest daughter graduated last year and my second daughter will be graduating next week. When my 3 children were younger, I used to hear those words "just you wait..." and it never felt good. Like you, I vowed never to say them to a younger mom. But your version of "just you wait..." is perfect. These times are wonderful!

Brenda said...

Negative "just you wait" comments of any kind are a major pet peeve of mine. THANK YOU for this encouragement! :)

Kat said...

Oh Paige, I much prefer your "Just you wait" advice to the others as well. Thanks for the encouragement. I swear, every time I read a blog post by you, I learn a valuable life lesson. Thank you for that! xo Kat

just ask beth said...

as the mother of 3 girls..soon to be 15, 11 and 8.. I rarely experience any discord..oh don't get me wrong, they have cried and sulked but never mean or hateful. I love spending time with my girls and I love to hear them giggle and get along so well!! I never want them to leave, but I know they will, but I want them to always WANT to come back!

TheCatLord said...

thanks so much for posting this...i have 6 kids and i fear the teenage years everyday. i do have 2 teens, a 16 year old boy and a 13 almost 14 year old girl, and i see a lot of "tude" from my son and it's not so much from my daughter. everyone keeps telling me it's coming though. not very encouraging to hear. thanks to your post, i think that if i am consistent, and stay in the game of keeping the communication lines open, i can look forward to the times you speak of!

Daily Tales of Sugar and Spice said...

keep the lessons coming! please oh please! love it.

Paige said...

SOOOOO very well said!! I had a love-hate relationship with the teenage years with my older kids, hard but never wanted them to end. Now 2 of the 3 are married and I still don't want it to end:)

Micah Jamie said...

I think I love this post the most of all your posts lately. So sweetly said. Makes me look forward to my Macie going to high school! Thanks for this.

Privet and Holly said...

Thanks for
the pep talk,
Paige! Love all
your wise words
and the flowers
that went with
them : )!! The
advice to love
them harder during
the last few years
will really stay
with me....
xx Suzanne

Curtis said...

I could not agree with you more. Though we raised two boys, the high school years were years of fun, growth, both for them and my wife and I. We look back now, our youngest graduated 4 years ago, and remember the high school years as years full of life, full of love and full of times that we enjoyed. The world looks at things through different eyes than Christians do. Our children are our delight! I will keep Savannah on our prayer list as she begins this new chapter in this journey we call life!!!
Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Mack said...

i so appreciate this paige - i really grow weary of people looking at me dragging three boys around, sighing and saying, wow you really have your hands full...meanwhile sean and i are enjoying them a ton!! anyway - - love these words!!!

Jodee said...

Love, love, love this post! This is one of my favorites! Thanks for the tips on the teenage years! You are such a great mama!

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree with you. And it is so wonderful to watch your daughter go off to school and grow into a lovely young woman. I have enjoyed this phase in my oldest daughters life, as I know you will also. You will have the best of both at home and one experiencing life and practicing the values you and your husband have taught her.

Suzanne said...

I can sympathize with you Paige , my Lulu is 29 years old now , it hasn't always been easy , I cried myself to sleep many a night . Deep down I knew that this was the beginning of the apron strings being cut and it hurt . Don't worry so much , they will make mistakes , but if they know you love them despite mistakes and you really trust in the Lord , he loves her more than you do ! God bless.

Sue said...

My oldest is 13, so this was very encouraging for me to read. Thank you so much!

I popped over from a link on another blog, and wanted to see all of those graduation photos you mentioned. As I scrolled down I was surprised to see that your daughter graduated from my alma mater! At first I thought it could be a different Parkview, but then I saw that she is going to UGA (go Dawgs!), and I saw the tell tale panther paws, so I knew it must be the same place. I was class of '89. Go Panthers!!!

I grew up just down the street from there (Cherokee Woods), and it truly was a wonderful community to grow up in. My parents retired to Greenville, SC to be near two of my sisters, so, unfortunately, I don't get back there at all anymore even when I'm in the US (I live in Japan). It's nice to see that it's still a great place to live!

Cynthia@Beach Coast Style said...

Paige i just adore all of your blog posts especially the ones about teenagers there is so much to learn and there are no books or tests.

Wendy said...

Love this post. This is the kind of relationship I want with my children when they reach "that age". I have watched many parents with both kinds of relationships with their teens, and I am starting now to try and foster the sort that you have with Savannah! Lovely!

cathypentonatelier said...

Well my dear friend...I agree so much!!! Sometimes I just don't understand why parents can't remember being young and put so many pressures on their kids...Each day is a blessing with our children whether it good or bad and as you know I have one of each and my boy is just as gorgeous...he definitely doesn't share quiet as many of his feelings but he is amazing!!!!!! I have absolutely loved every post about Savannahs wonderful journey this year and I can't wait to hear more...Love you heaps and the photos are gorgeous...cold here with the fire on :) xxxxxxxxxxc

Carla said...

I totally agree with you. It was the same with my oldest daughter when she graduated H.S., we still have fun together, we even went on a Spring Break trip out East together her Senior year. We will see what it is like with my second daughter who is a Senior next far, so good.

melissa said...

Well ... you know how much I LOVE reading about your beautiful girls (and living my life with no-daughters through you)! You have (and are) doing a fabulous job raising such beautiful, Christian girls.

ellieshine said...

thanks. my oldest turned 15 yesterday. i needed that :)

xo ellie
ps lovely photos!

Jboo said...

Love this post and your wonderful photos too. Have loved (in different ways) every single age of my kiddos. Amy especially enjoying my little girlie as I know how fast time flies by.

Hey, let me know if you'll be in the Hilton Head/Savannah area the second week in july!


{A*very} Blessed Life said...

I don't know why Paige, but this post left me crying more than any other post I have ever read of yours, and that is saying something because you are a really awesome writer who touches my heart. But this post, wow, it has struck a chord that has left me a blubbery sniffling mess. Not a mess of angst or anything but of tears of joy and happiness at the possibilities that await. I truly feel I fall more in love with my girls as they grow older as I see their personalities come out and their souls open up within them to the person whom they were meant to be. I am awed at God's creation in them. I used to mourn that the days that they were babies were over, but recently have just started to really cherish the people that they are now and are going to be in the future. I've also feared the upcoming teenage years, wishing they could stay the little people they are forever. But each stage is a new adventure, a new time for them to grow, a new opportunity for them to become the person God wants them to be. Thank you sweet friend for writing this post, for saying you don't have to fear the teenage years. It really has touched my heart!

Anonymous said...

I came by because the 'simple' thought appealed to me....and I find such a meaningful post! I have a 10 year old daughter and, so far, we are the best of friends....and the negative connotation of 'just you wait' really bothers me....but your take on the 'just you wait' is beautiful!'s what I too aim for.

Love your blog.

Ciao Bella!


Jodi said...

I love this post, because I have a 13 year old daughter. We are close I think because she is our only child. I have been told "just you wait" before too.

I love what you and Savannah have and I hope that when my daughter is graduating, she and I are the same.

Right now, we have the typical attitude and a bit of laziness, that I am sure every parent of a teen girl goes thru.

I don't have my Mom anymore to ask for support and parental guidance, but, I am sure that I never had an attitude, gave her grief or was lazy and didn't want to pick up my room. Ha Ha

Take care, and the pictures are beautiful! I enjoy your posts so much, keep them coming!

Coastal Health and Home said...

Dear Paige,

Thank you for sharing your life with us and for inspiring us.

Where is your etsy shop for these


Coastal Blue Ocean

Jen said...

Thank you! I needed to hear that.

Mitchell Fab Four said...

Thank you so much for the new spin on the "just you wait" speech. Never has "just you wait" sounded so uplifting and encouraging. I will miss my Lauren more than words can say next year but missing her means I actually LIKE her and the young woman she has become. I have only good memories of raising a daughter and like you, I am looking forward to this next phase of her life. Thank you for always having the right thing to say and thank God for sending it to me a just the right moment!! I.CAN'T.WAIT.

Michelle Whitaker said...

My oldest daughter just drove off to school for the first time by herself. I was so happy for her and her new independence,but I was very teary-eyed. She has just two more years of high school. I am cherishing every minute of our remaining time together at home. Loved your post.

Jennifer said...

This helped me - with my oldest son entering his senior year! I think what stuck out was "mend and rebuild this year" "encourage and build them up". I also have a 2 yr old little girl and after reading all your post - I want to have a house full of girls! I really try to make mental notes of all your wonderful ideas with your daughters and encouragement. God's blessings truly show in your life!

Jennifer said...

This helped me - with my oldest son entering his senior year! I think what stuck out was "mend and rebuild this year" "encourage and build them up". I also have a 2 yr old little girl and after reading all your post - I want to have a house full of girls! I really try to make mental notes of all your wonderful ideas with your daughters and encouragement. God's blessings truly show in your life!

Bravehearted Beauty {formerly LLH Designs} said...

Loving every word you wrote here, Paige! I love teenage girls, and when parents say, "just wait" it breaks my heart. Going into teenage years with that attitude of fear and dread is a recipe for disaster. Love your spin on "just you wait!" and love the photos of my second favorite flower!


Martha said...

i really loved this post;) so encouraging especially since i haven't hit the teenage with my girls yet;)

Stephanie said...

This so encouraged me! Thank you!

Java Mama said...

Thank you for such a postive post. I have twins (6 yrs) and a 3 yr. old - all girls. I love them! There is a lot of bickering between them, taking sides, talking ugly just as much as there is laughs, jokes, and gentless. I spend my days and nights with them and I am grateful for it. I just want them to know they are loved - although I am sure my bossiness and directions are construed as meanness. I hope they don't always see it that way. thanks again for the encouragement!