Raising a family can be a long haul. And yet, now that they are all married and have their own homes I look back and wonder how we got here so fast. We're back to the same two we started with, although in many ways we are not the same people we were when we started. Some of our ideas and values have changed along with the physical changes age brings. Our basic ideas and values about God and faith are as solid as they were when we were married, or more so. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about things that seemed so important at one time such as "what will people think?" and the value of material things.
Now, not only have my values changed, but I have lived long enough to see my children are repeating the process. There was a time my children thought I was old fashioned and out of touch because I didn't see the value in the things they thought were of utmost importance. The older we all grow, the more the age gap narrows. I saw it happen again yesterday.
The four boys (and their families) were all here yesterday. There was a section of the attic where all of their hobby stuff had been shoved when they left home. There it sat, left behind in the dark cold attic for a coon's age. I have been threatening for years to go in there and shovel up the pile. But because this stuff was once so highly esteemed I feared the wrath of the four winds would blow me away. And I didn't know whose stuff was whose. When they were all here yesterday I told them to go up in the attic and claim anything they want. Then we will feel free to dispose of anything they do not want.
One to whom this stuff had been so precious once upon a time rooted through the pile, came downstairs and told me he doesn't want anything. He has other things to do and no interest in it. He told me to light a hot fire and get rid of it. His values have changed and we're on the same page.
So to all you parents who still have teenagers in your house, hang in there. The DO grow up eventually and someday (sooner than you think) you'll be on the same page.