My first kiss. My first drink. Desperately trying to stay awake long enough to not be the first one asleep at a sleepover. Wanting to feel special and seen and loved but not to stand out too much. What a messy, messy time.
My best friend lived one neighborhood away; I could cut across a dirt road on my bike and through a few neighbors’ yards to get to her. We cut our teeth on boys and makeup and somehow came out alive. I so vividly remember those days, feeling mature past my years, misunderstood by my parents, and mostly safe with my friends, learning to navigate my meandering walk with Jesus.
Now I’m on the flipside- parenting two middle school girls. And you know what? They are absolutely fantastic- but it’s still tricky. Trickier, even. Seeing them jockey for position in friendships, compete for their shared spaces, explore their gifts. I can see them both running with strength toward what is good and lured at times toward what is not.
So much of my time is spent praying for their hearts- to love what the Lord loves, for wisdom to discern truth and see their own motives clearly. I pray for friendships that would be life-giving. For time to risk and trust and fail and grow. I pray for hearts to be open to how the Lord has uniquely made them, for confidence and contentment.
I want to be the kind of mom that enjoys this season. Watching them grow into my friends is really the best- but keeping that mama-bear in check is hard. I want to strike at their angry outbursts and muzzle their hurtful words. I still try to control and keep and contain.
So middle school, I know your tricks, your lies. You don’t scare me, but my eye is on you.