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End of an Era

Today marks the last day I will be the mother of a teenager. My youngest turns twenty tomorrow. My oldest turned 13 in 1999 so I have been doing this teenage thing for a while. I don't have any great words of wisdom or profound reflections. I survived and my kids survived the teenage years so it is very doable.

Looking back, I guess our teenage years were relatively tame. We didn't have a lot of drama. I don't remember a lot of sulking or pouting. There was never any arguments about going to Mass. I didn't even have any issues with what they wore. Time spent on the computer and video games probably created the most tension but it wasn't that significant. I do remember a lot of praying, at least on my part. You think you are going to get more sleep once your babies get older. But then they get a social life and then they learn to drive. I cannot count the number of candles I lit and the Hail Mary's I said for their safety and for them to use good judgment.

My kids and I learned that friends matter and when the Air Force moves you around a lot your best friends may be your family. Also, surrounding yourself with friends who strive for what is good makes resisting temptation much easier.

A decade ago I was in the middle of at least three and often four soccer games every weekend. In addition there were Scout activities, music lessons, Church youth group events and school. I relished that time. I looked forward and thought how empty my life would feel without the hustle and bustle.

Well I am there now. My adult children still play soccer but do not expect to see Mom on the sidelines. And you know what? There is no emptiness at all. Instead, I look at them all grown up and feel overwhelmed by love and gratitude. And just because they are out of the nest doesn't mean I stop being their Mom. The praying never stops. I still light candles and offer Hail Mary's.

So here's to the end of an era. By the grace of God and with the support of a little wine, a lot of coffee, and an immeasurable amount of prayer, we made it.



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