As parents, many of us walk through uncharted territory. It's scary stuff. Our family was not immune to some trials. We have struggled through periods of time with our kids when communication was hard. The very things that we were trying to teach them to do well, were oh-so-hard for us sometimes. But parents, take heart! If you hang in there, you will see the tide change. I'm not saying you can do it alone. We leaned heavily on the Lord, make no mistake!
The other evening, I sort of felt like I had a full-circle moment with our son.
He came home from work after a 7-4 shift at one job, and a 4:30-9 shift at another), and I got to enjoy about 45 minutes of conversation with him. I was at the kitchen table, and he came to sit down, and we talked. About work. About life. He was tired. He was scheduled for the same shifts the next day, and should've been off to bed. But he took the time to talk.
I have long been a proponent of a "things were so much easier when the kids were toddlers" philosophy -- and I've really felt that to my bones. When the kids were little, there was so much more that was under my control -- or at least I labored under that illusion. As they've grown up, there is so much that I need to let go of and give to God. I know you cannot go back, but those early years were easy for me -- at least, comparatively speaking. So, to have grown-up evening chats at the kitchen table with my 20-year-old son is kind of amazing to me.
When he said goodnight, I said, "Thanks for chatting," and on his way up to bed, he responded, "Thanks for listening."
I was still in the kitchen... smiling.