Sunday, November 21, 2010

thankful for uncomfortable remembering

Tonight, I find myself pondering the past. Usually I find myself living in a state of "future", thinking ahead, planning.

the past. *sigh* who likes to go there?...

and yet, I'm remembering back to my teen years.
remembering the challenges that surrounded me, that surrounded my friends.
The challenges that my parents, and others would talk about with such concern. such worry.
and this enigma "peer pressure"...
I was so sure I was not affected by it.
sure that for me an MY friends, we were somehow exempt from it.
I remember the atmosphere
drugs and alcohol,
teen pregnancy,
of girls in abusive relationships,
of friends and classmates in violent and abusive homes,
eating disorders,
and teen suicide.
I remember losing some.
Some of my friends. Some of my dreams.
Some of my hopes, and vulnerability.
Some of my trust.
I remember the confusion and overwhelming-ness of it all.

And none of these subjects are ones we like to talk about, or like to ponder... I think, because we all have our stories. We have all known these things.

Add to this a scary statistic I recently heard, 3-45 minutes; that is the amount of time total, per week, that parents and their children spend talking; having conversation that is not related to making plans or doing tasks.
~Conversation that is about knowing each other. about connection. think about that for a minute. and then think about the things I mention above. ~how do any of us come through it?

This has me thinking about my availability to my little ones, only... they are getting bigger everyday; and am I there for them? and am I beating this statistic? I hope so.

I hope that we are getting to know each other as people.
I hope that we are developing a relationship that allows them to talk freely.
I hope I am communicating my love and affection,
my confidence in who they are,
and who they are becoming.
I hope I am advocating for them.
By advocating, I mean "standing beside."
Being a support, and a soft place to fall.

I'm feeling like I do a lot of "talking", reflecting, pondering in this blog. I hope it is at least a little bit enjoyable to read. I hope that in relating some of my thoughts, I am connecting.

I am hoping that some might be inspired to think about some of these things. To spend some time in what might be an uncomfortable state of remembering. Remembering being the child. Being the teen.
Recalling what you needed and wanted. What you wished for.
Because I have been thankful for this uncomfortable feeling.
Remembering... needing acceptance, support, listening ears, affection, confidence, reassurance.
The "stand beside" variety of advocacy, that I was blessed to find among some kind-hearted adults.
The kind of advocacy that says,
"I am here to listen. I am here to support you."
I hope that I will be able to do this with my own children;
and I hope they will also meet others who will do this with them.

Pondering, reflecting, thankful.

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