A few weeks ago I was waiting in the carpool line in the rain for one of my teenagers so I pulled out my phone to text them where I was. And then I looked back at our text chain….and it went a little something like this.
“Ok. I am coming.”
And the day before that…
And the day before that.
“Ok, running out.”
Yes, there were other texts in between but interwoven was a long chain of the same message from me everyday. “I’m here.”
I’ve been thinking about that text chain lately. And all the things I have been “here” for.
I was “here” for most of the diaper changes, for the wobbly toddler steps and ready with a bandaid when there was a boo boo. I was “here” for the first day of Kindergarten with my big sunglasses on so they wouldn’t see the alligator tears rolling down my cheeks. I was “here” for the first time there was a need for stitches, for sprained ankles and for times when friends were being mean. I was “here” for learning how to ride a bike and falling off dozens of times. And I was “here” to give high fives at the first time swimming across the pool or jumping off the high dive. I was so happy to be there….
But now as my two oldest are teenagers, it’s almost as if they need to know that even more. The “I am heres.”
I am here to celebrate the victories of junior high and high school, to still give high fives and hugs for all of those amazing teenage accomplishments.
But even more importantly, “I am here” for the critical teenage moments that I can do nothing. Because sometimes teenagers have to go through things that we don’t want to see them go through as parents. And there are pains of teenage years that we can’t take away.
I feel like it’s those times that they need to hear the “I am heres” even more.
We may not be able to solve their problems or struggles, but we can crawl into that deep, dark hole that they are in…..and just sit with them. To let them know “I am here.” Because sometimes just sitting with them in that hole, without judgement, without fear….is the only thing that can be done.
I texted both of those amazing teenagers today. And I let them know those three words again today, “I am here for you.” And I hope that if they hear it enough that they will believe me. Because I mean it from the bottom of my heart.