A New Normal

I remember when my oldest nephew was born over 17 years ago, my brother-in-law telling my mother that he was just ready for his life to get back to normal.

Cover of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

My mother’s response has stayed with me through the years. She laughed and told him that normal was gone, replaced by a new one. After living with and loving on my kids since then, I would only add that today’s normal will likely be as different from tomorrow’s as it is from yesterday’s.

I get to meet people of all walks and stages of life in my work. The days that I get to interact with young moms are probably my favorite. Just yesterday, I got to hold a little 9 month old baby angel. She was just so trusting and cuddly. She didn’t mind that I wasn’t her momma one bit. My pride and vanity would like to believe that she thought I was special, but my experience tells me that babies that age are just that loving and trusting.

A few weeks ago, I got to meet and read to a very cute 2 year old. Her momma was very prepared and had brought along a snack. The stranger anxiety had begun to develop, but fun prevailed. We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar while she ate her fig newton. My daughter loved that book so much that my husband and I could probably still “read” it by heart. We celebrated our sweet daughter’s 16 birthday this week. When this young momma was thanking me profusely for helping her to entertain her daughter, I was thanking her for reminding me of my little girl and for helping me remember the momma I was all those years ago.

Parenting for me these days have little to do with holding children and reading. While parenting teens has proven to be a very challenging stage for us, it can also be pretty great. I ain’t gonna lie, though. Parenting teens surely isn’t for sissies. This stage requires more patience, more talking, more heartache, and most importantly, more prayer. When I interact with moms at an earlier momma stage that me, I try to give encouragement. Many times, I give a hug,  always a smile, and a word of encouragement. I also try not to tell them how much fun parenting a teen is…

Happy birthday to my sweet girl. Always know that your Dad and I are so proud of you. You have given me much to laugh about, smile about, brag about, pray about, and sometimes to cry about. I know that I have returned the favor:)


About Debbie

I have been married for 20 years to a Yankee, have two great kids, a fun and funny Southern family, and a whole bunch of friends. I try to enjoy the journey!
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3 Responses to A New Normal

  1. Nancy says:

    UGH! I feel your pain on parenting teens. I miss my babies but wouldn’t go back for anything. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m heading towards it hoping for grandchildren one day! Happy Birthday Mary Emma. Can’t believe she’s 16 already. Jack is right behind her and mean as a snake.

  2. Yes, indeed, parenting is not for sissies!!! As a parent of two young men who are now very successfully on their own I miss those days of hands on parenting. Some more than others, I must admit! :-) Happy Birthday to your girl !!!!