I have had a rare opportunity to learn about the person my daughter is. As she has been in and out of consciousness, she had done a lot of talking in her sleep, moving in her sleep, and even more than her fair share of delusions and hallucinations. What do you think would come out if you spent weeks in this state? Here is what I learned about my special girl.
She likes Christmas time, but thinks we don’t eat enough candy canes.
She thinks her siblings need to be more reverent during Family Home Evening.
She believes in Joseph Smith, and thinks reading good books is important.
She even remembers to do her hand and foot stretches for physical therapy while she is unconscious. She has a very obedient spirit.
She likes to sing.
She has frequently spoken up when a nurse has put the TV on for some background noise, thinking she is asleep, and informed them if she thinks it is inappropriate. One night she was having trouble staying awake, so a well intentioned nurse put on a TV show that her child of the same age loves watching. She was surprised when Katie woke up long enough to stammer out the word – “raunchy.” The nurse immediately realized she was talking about the TV show, and changed the channel. Then she started telling all the other nurses how impressed she was with Katie. She too was aware that the show was inappropriate and started talking about how she wished her kid wouldn’t watch it either.
So proud of Katie. I think she will have the strength to do what she knows is right no matter the situation, because these are the things that are really inside her.
One of the most common miracles I see around me involve growth. Growth of plants from seeds into food and trees and flowers. Growth of individuals to learn and adapt. Growth of infants, etc. My 14 year old son is now as tall as I am. It is amazing that something I gave birth to will soon be taller than I am!
My newly 16 year old daughter got a cell phone for her birthday and my life just got easier. Today I am grateful for the miracles of technology and cell phones. No more being left at school, or not being able to adjust to changes in extracurricular activities. Hooray! We can’t afford anything but bare bones for the phone, but hey, at least we can communicate when we need to.
As excited as we are for another cell phone in the family, we also decided to unplug the televisions. It seems to be a never-ending struggle to keep up with technology and to make sure that it is being used appropriately. We listened to a talk from a few years back about how far the television industry has pushed the boundaries of decency, and realized that it has escalated exponentially even since then. Can’t justify even sitting through the commercials anymore. Why waste any more time being slowly convinced that family, God and decency don’t really matter anymore? I don’t really want my kids to grow up thinking that life is all about murder, violence, sex and materialism. We only even watch a handful of programming anymore, and even those are not what I would consider faith promoting or family building. Anyhow, that’s where we are today.
My pre-teen is being difficult. No surprise there. The big surprise is when my 18 year old insight-fully asked if he had acted the same way at that age. When I responded in the affirmative he genuinely apologized. He said the words “I’m sorry” and everything. I thought the sky was going to fall at any moment.
I love the man in my life. I love the fact that he is very different from me. When I was 17 years old, however, I thought the boys were incredibly immature, arrogant, reckless, and generally incomprehensible. Now that I have a 17-year-old boy of my own I still think the same thing. All I can say is that it was a good thing I didn’t know my husband at 17.
I do now have the privilege of seeing another side of teenage boys at the same time. My work with the BSA and Cub Scouting program has helped me understand a little better their fun-loving side, and their absolute need for externally modeled and even imposed guidance and learning. Last night we Skyped with my now 17-year-old male who is off at college, and “knows everything,” and absolutely does not need anything from his parents because he is so competent and ready to conquer the world (in his own mind of course.) He just reminds me of everything I can’t tolerate in a males.
The amazing part is the opportunity to see the vulnerable part of the equation. Not only did he want to talk for an hour and a half last night, but he wants to start checking in more often. I know better than to accuse him of being homesick, but it is good to see that he still needs family at least a little. I may never understand the gender completely, and I will never appreciate the “indestructible” mindset they have, but I can still love them anyway. And despite his absolute knowledge of pretty much everything in the universe, he does know a lot of pretty cool stuff.
I do wonder sometimes how often Father sees us acting like a know-it-all teenager. Horrific thought. Maybe we can redeem ourselves a little by checking in more often.