Birthdays, ah, we love them, but do we? They’re inevitable, some are good, some are weird, and some are long-awaited. We can’t wait to reach thirteen.
WOW, finally—I’m a teenager!
A teenager at thirteen doesn’t seem to make much difference except we begin to feel grown-up, and start to notice our parents are becoming disagreeable.
Then there’s that sweet-sixteen party for the girls, leaving the boys out in the cold unless they get invited. Well, that’s a piece of cake to figure out, we can dance with them. If they don’t know how we can teach them.
But wait, isn’t eighteen grown up? We get to drive. That’s the driving age in Brooklyn and New York City—and vote. Both driving and voting are huge responsibilities. The day my driver’s license arrived in the mail—I couldn’t wait to open the envelope—’PASSED.’
Dad danced with me when I showed him my shiny new license. “Good job, now I want you to pick up your mother at work, she gets off at 5:00 pm.” She worked on 47th and Broadway in New York at a place they make dungarees, Blue Bell. I did it! I took the Belt Parkway to the Gowanus Expressway and over the Manhattan Bridge, and I drove back the same way with my Mom in the car. “Good Job,” she said.
The other biggie, voting. We choose all kinds of governmental people, like the President of the United States. You’ve almost forgotten all the fun you had at your sweet sixteen, dancing with the boys, eating goodies and blowing candles out on your cake–and now you can vote? Have you been following the presidential candidates and the promises to their country, their philosophy, and their skills to make appropriate decisions that will affect the people and you?
Are you busy graduating from high school, and choosing a college, be it virtual or not? I don’t know—the responsibilities of an eighteen-year-olds’ are daunting, aren’t they?
Should I go on? What happens at twenty-one, turning thirty, or even forty, supposedly over-the-hill? I don’t think there’s an over-the-hill anymore. We are healthier than ever. We exercise, make our hearts more robust, and our lungs better to fight off dangerous viruses.
In this house, we’ve seen fifty, sixty, seventy, and even eighty. Life has gotten better and busier, and okeydokey as daddy used to say. We win contests for writing, for dancing, for fashion. We promote healthy products for Beautycounter, the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the USA!
Where will it all end? In heaven, I guess. I’m just too busy. Heaven can wait.
My current books
There are some Thanksgivings my husband Tom and I travel to Phoenix, Arizona to visit our grandchildren in the west. This year our Marietta, GA family joined us here in Phoenix. There are eleven of us, five are the kids. We love it, the cousins love getting together, we have fun, lots of laughing and telling stories and, of course, eating out, eating in, and eating on the big day.Thanksgiving is always a special time for us, a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. I’m thankful for family and for the time we get to spend with them. Our New Jersey (in the east) seven grandchildren will party with us at Christmas time.
Grandchildren are the rewards for motherhood. Motherhood, a job no one is really prepared for. Parenting isn’t taught, and why not? All we have are the role models that parented us. Right? They didn’t go to school for parenting, neither did their parents. This is sometimes good, and sometimes bad
We learn how to do so many other life jobs, but no schooling for parenting. How about a required course in college? Can’t graduate unless you’ve taken the parenting course. Oh my goodness, who will teach it? Think . . . who is qualified to teach parenting? A psychologist? A psychiatrist? A nurse, doctor, other parents? This is a dilemma. How about a grandmother with a PhD in child psychology and a dozen grandchildren? Did Dr. Spock have it right? He wasn’t bad, but this is a broad subject. Like teaching anything, it depends on the recipient. For example, I taught tennis for years, not all my students learned a forehand the same way. I had to adjust my instructions until they executed a proper forehand. That’s just a small detail, so, what about raising children? How do you teach what ‘NO’ means, what ‘YES’ means? For me, bottom line is always teach with love, patience, and example. Patience, patience, patience – explain why it’s no or yes and explain with love. This is a broad statement, yet basic.
In the bible, The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit according to the Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” You don’t have to be religious to appreciate The Fruit of the Spirit. First is love . . . bringing up a child is challenging to say the least. They must be taught and disciplined with love and patience. Children need to be taught that there are consequences for improper decisions.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Love to you all.
Julie Lyles Carr is a talented speaker and author who writes about motherhood and raising children. Her most recent book, Raising an Original: Parenting Each Child According to their Unique God-Given Temperament. A book to check out!
Julie Lyles Carr
Julie Lyles Carr holds a degree in psychology which she uses every day in her parenting of eight children and also a degree in English Literature, which came in handy for writing a book on parenting. She is a popular speaker and blogger. Julie is also an audiobook narrator, having voiced a large collection of Harper Collins, Zondervan, and Thomas Nelson projects. She serves as the Pastor of Women’s Ministry at her home church of Life, Austin in Austin, Texas. Julie is also the Founder and Executive Director of Legacy of Hope Austin, a non-profit group dedicated to serving families of children with special needs. Julie and her husband Michael have been married for almost twenty-six years. You can read more about their family adventures at www.julielylescarr.com.
Gail Ingis is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released on Valentine’s Day 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.