It’s the moments of victory that make parenting a teenager rewarding… and no, I don’t mean that in an ‘I told you so’ way. It’s seeing victory on your child’s face. It’s seeing something you have tried to teach or instill lead to a milestone for that child.
The process of ‘teaching’ a teenager a life skill can be tough… down right painful at times (I include the quotations because sometimes it seems less like teaching and more like banging them over the head with it), but the pay-off, if you are lucky enough to get one, is great. The Girl had such a pay-off today.
Never what I would call a highly motivated student, she has struggled academically over the years. She has the smarts, though often times she doesn’t think so, but she hasn’t had the study skills or the confidence.
Since she moved in with us a year and half ago, we’ve been working on developing study habits and a work ethic. We’ve had our moments, but today she brought home an 80% on the final exam in her toughest subject. She was glowing with pride (truth be told, so was I), even going so far as to seek me out at my morning playdate to tell me.
The change we’ve seen lately is heartening. It’s not just one grade. We now hear her talk about the future and see her truly understand that all things are possible. She’s even going far enough to talk about university… something she’s never considered a possibility before.
Even now, as I watch my four-year-old in his swim class and watch the joy on his face as he learns to do things that terrified him 6 months ago, I am in awe. The process of growing up is hard. Whether it is opening oneself up to adult possibilities or overcoming the fear of ducking under the water, growing up takes courage. I honestly wonder if I’d ever be able to do it again (thank God we only have to do it once!).
So, I applaud the brave acts of my beautiful children and I treasure the small role I get to take in these big victories. Good job Girl, I’m proud of you!