If you have read this blog for very long you may have noticed a few things.
I think our kids are funny.
I like to take pictures of them and to tell stories about them.
There are six of them.
But one does not appear here nearly as frequently as the others.
Yes. I know.
But it has nothing to do with my love for Riley, our beautiful teenaged daughter. (Or maybe it has everything to do with my love for her.)
The primary reason I do not write often about Riley is simple.
She knows how to read.
I love Riley. Of course I do. I think she's funny. And beautiful. Kind. Flexible. Easy going. Friendly. And loaded with potential. I loved her twangy little accent and her unruly, choppy hair the day I met her six year old self. And I was thrilled the day her adoption became final when she was nine.
But this blog is actually not a place where I lie.
Soooo . . . .
The truth for me is . . . parenting Riley can be hard.
Maybe parenting any teenager can be challenging. So I've heard.
And losing both my mother and Kevin's mother in such a short span has altered a bit of our perspectives on ourselves as teenagers. (There are just some memories only a mother holds.) Sometimes I forget that I was ever like Riley. Fifteen. Absorbed in me.
Because most days I feel as if Riley is just so . . . . not like me.
And I never really know how to handle that.
If I am honest, and I did just proclaim that I am, I would have to admit that most days I am pretty confident of only one truth regarding my parenting of Riley. I'm not doing so well.
My tendency is to correct, reason, monologue . . . because I desperately want to see this fifteen year old live up to that untapped potential. I want to see wise decisions. A pure heart. A life that doesn't look like every Disney teen bouncing across our screen or clogging the radio waves.
Yes. I'm pretty sure I just discovered the heart of the issue.
I want what cannot be had just yet. I want the end without the means. I want the prize without the race. I want her to have the knowledge that only comes from experience because I want to spare her the heartache that so often accompanies that experience.
Even revisiting it vicariously is difficult.