May You Live In Interesting Times...

Today was my eldest childs' 17th birthday. It seems like yesterday, I was a new mother, holding my newborn baby daughter in my (tired) arms.

She was (and still is) 'the first'...
...one I learned about teething with
...one I learned about breastfeeding with
...I learned that all children are individuals on
...the one that goes through my ignorance on every new stage of her life.

In many ways, her place in the family is, "I deal with Mom, so you don't have to".

Over the years, we have agreed and disagreed, and talked (boy, have we ever!) about everything under the sun. I have done my best to be a good mother to her and her siblings. I have tried to explain to them how the world really works, not just how the world says that it works.

I have tried to give them the benefit of my experiences (and my mistakes), and to live my life as best that I can in a way that I can look them straight in the eye when they ask me a hard question about why I did or didn't do something.

It seems to be paying off, although only time will tell in the end.

I was at church last Sunday, and a parent spoke about how teenagers don't talk to their parents. How frustrating it was, to have a child who won't talk to you. I found myself struggling to keep my face straight. From shock.

My children talk to me, sometimes about stuff I'd much rather not know about. About their friends, their feelings, their worries, and when they believe that I'm not living according to the guidelines that I've set for myself.

All in all, I think that I have a pretty good bunch of children. I drew a good hand in the child lottery.

Don't get it wrong, they get into trouble, they make mistakes, and they fight... two years ago, two of my younger children had a feud over one stealing the other ones' DIRT, for crying out loud!! Honestly! We live in the country... if there is nothing else here (no DSL, no T1 lines, no sewer, no town trash pickup), there is dirt... honestly, I tried not to laugh, but I'm sorry to say that I failed miserably. I was greeted with indignant looks at my ignorance about the difference in *this* dirt, versus the dirt over *there*. I did pull myself together long enough to apologize for laughing at them, and explained that we live in the country, and maybe, just maybe, we could find some satisfactory dirt for the both of them. "There's enough dirt in these two acres for the both of youse!"

Some days, I feel that I should have taken diplomacy classes, in addition to the law classes... those skills has been the most useful in dealing with children. They are amazingly, frighteningly logical... I don't know where they get it from, must be their dad, lol!!

I love you, children! You're going to be fantastic people... keep it up!!

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