Warning: if you don’t like my honesty, it’s ok to quit reading. I’ll actually never know.
A while back a friend of mine described a party she gave to one of her children who was an early teen. She told me she looked out the window to see the kids playing tag in the yard, or maybe it was hide and seek. They were all 13 or maybe it was 14. They were innocently playing tag like the children they actually are. She said how glad she was that she was able to protect her children from all the awful stuff so many teens are doing that she liked her bubble. I like it too. I miss it. I cry about it when no one is watching.
Before my kids went to public school I at some point said: “You’ll learn more on the bus than in the classroom.” I don’t remember saying that, but it sounds like me. My freshman reminded me of that this last week and she told me I was right. There is no precious bubble. I didn’t want my kids to know the vulgarity, the perversity that they do. I mean, I guess they would learn it. But, why does a 15-year-old have to listen to boys talk about sexual positions? Why do they have to constantly turn down a vape? (Seriously, these kids are vaping on the bus…like always. It’s called a Juuling for those of you who don’t know. Read this, and take a look at this. They kind of look like little zip drives. Anyway…that’s beside the point.) Everything that you hear about happening in high schools across the country is true. Boys getting a nude picture of a girl and sending it out to a bunch of people, check. Someone bringing alcohol to school in a water bottle, check. Backstabbing mean girls, check. I’ve heard it all and boy do I miss the bubble.
I miss hearing about the discussion in Bible class or how they disagreed with a teacher. I miss knowing parents, I miss being a part of that community. But among all that I have learned this school year is that it is not about me.
My kids, as different as they are, have found where they belong. And it’s not because they fit in or because they stand out. It’s because they know it’s where the Lord wants them.
While driving a sweet girl home one day she said “If it wasn’t for Emma, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have found Jesus so soon, or maybe ever.” Emma knows, and I know, it wasn’t her, it was all Jesus. Emma just introduced her friend to Jesus, He knew her all along.
Gloria invited a friend to church, and now the whole family attends. They weren’t going to church before. I don’t know their stories or what they know about salvation. I do know they’re for sure headed in the right direction. But it wasn’t Gloria who did anything. It was all Jesus.
That isn’t even all of the stories, there are more that perhaps I’ll share with you sometime when we visit.
So yes, when I look at your kid’s pictures on Instagram all wearing their age appropriate modest formal dresses I say to my self, “Emma should be in this picture, and Gloria should have been in that one.” I feel actual pain in my heart because I miss you and I miss your kids. I’m still not over it.
My kids are really happy though. They’re finding their footing and establishing who they are, maybe for the first time. It’s actually easier to stand out in a crowd than I thought it would be. Just smile, don’t talk trash and stand up for truth. I gotta say, the bubble was lovely, it’s a lovely, lovely bubble. I miss the bubble.
But my girls are stronger than I thought. God knew.
He already knew.