Reminders for a 14-year-old

Fourteen. This year is a big deal.

Transition is the name of the game. Independence is the "win," and the primary player on the 14-year-old field is named "annoyance."

Dad and I are going to get under your skin more often and you'll do your best to return the favor.

His jokes will be less funny, his questions more probing, and his insight will be frustratingly accurate.

I will butcher lyrics from Hamilton, dance too often, and be too neat for your tastes.

We will remind, ask, and pay attention far more than you'd like.

Put away your phone. Practice your guitar. Feed the dog.


Who are you texting? What did you do at school? What's happening with your friends?


How are you feeling? What's on your mind? How is your heart?

These last questions are especially irritating and you should know that we know.

We know because we've lived through the frustration with our parents. We experienced the years of their uncoolness and survived. We expect emotional outbursts not only because we remember ours, but because you are facing the daunting horizon of High School, driving, and independence; milestones which make parents seem like obstacles.

Don't fret when you feel compelled to push us away, this urge is part of the 14-year-old job description. (I looked it up.)

However, you need to know it is in our job description to stay here, to walk through this season with you.

We will ask practical questions, be interested in your world, and love and guide your heart. We want you to develop your own relationship with Jesus and to find the place in the world where your gifts are fully developed and used.

In you God has blessed us with a precious and beautiful gift, but you are not ours to possess. You are a gift to everyone you meet and that, my dear, is the best part of your 14 years!

Happiest of birthdays Ellie Belle.

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