Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lisa Whelchel (you know... Blair from The Facts of Life) thoughts on raising teenagers...

A few years back, during one of my endless evenings of looking for interesting stuff to read on the web, I came across something about Lisa Whelchel homeschooling her children. She was taking a family RV trip across the US and writing what we now know as a blog. Well, since I was a huge Facts of Life fan, my interest was already peaked. Then add to it that she was homeschooling and traveling. Before I knew it... I had found her website. She would update it pretty regularly and include pictures of where they had just visited and what her children were up to. Somehow I grew to "know" her and her family through this. Her family RV trip ended and she continued to "blog" once a week. I guess I have spent part of my Mondays reading her newest post for quite awhile now. This week, her post was about raising teenagers. Lisa Whelchel's Journal
It sorta touched my heart a bit. It made me think back to some turbulent times with Timmy. Most people that know us well, know that he was a pretty easy going kid. Then all of a sudden when he was about 12 years old, he turned into a sort of for lack of a better word - monster! He made me nuts! Absolutely, positively NUTS! I spent a whole lot of time trying to understand where my sweet boy had gone. I had spent almost 10 years having him as my only. He was a pretty easy kid to raise. I guess it wasn't really a blink of an eye, but it seemed as if it was... he was a crabby kid. We spent 5th and 6th grade beginning our homeschooling adventure and I thought we enjoyed our time together. Then in 7th grade... we tolerated each other. By 8th grade... the battle lines had been drawn. I even put him back in school after Christmas break of 8th grade. Well, I should say that Tim decided his wife was going to end up in a padded cell if he didn't get Timmy away from me for awhile. So, off he went to that miserable junior high school. I remember driving past the school that January and being relieved that I wasn't having to fight with him all day long. He only stayed there for 3 months or so before we took him back out. I knew he didn't belong there, but my sanity needed a break. Things got a little better, but I would say 13 years old was about as bad as 12 years old. Then my sister-in-law Debi passed away. When we were at her house for her memorial service, her brother told me what a good boy Timmy was. He told me Timmy was so worried if I would ever be okay. When we came home, Timmy was different. I got my sweet boy back. He helped me with Savannah when I wasn't sure how I would cope. Then when I got pregnant with Sebastian a couple months later, he was there to help again. I am one of those really sick pregnant woman. Timmy cooked and cleaned and played with Savannah. He was the most unbelievable help. When I went to have Sebastian, he was right there with us. He stayed and watched the monitor all day. When I had Sebastian late that night, Tim took Savannah home to bed, but Timmy stayed. He held his little brother with so much pride. The thing is that if I had been asked about raising teenagers just a couple years ago, I would have cringed. Now, I can tell you that most days I really like who he is. He is a kind and decent person. Granted... I do wish he would clean up that mess he calls a room, but overall I like who he is! I look forward to talking with him and hearing about all his friends. It reminds me of when he was little and he was my only. I guess all these ramblings are in case somebody is out there reading and struggling with their teenager. My road had its bumps along the way, but now it is getting better and better. I can only imagine what a great man he is going to be!

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