My kids recently showed me an eHarmony video with a woman who tries to share a little about herself for a prospective date.  She doesn’t make it far into the video when she starts talking about cats and begins to cry because she loves cats so much.  She gets herself back together and starts talking about other hobbies but begins crying again because she started thinking about cats.  It is hilarious, confusing and a little sad all at the same time (confusing of course because…Ummm, who likes cats???).

We used to have a cat and the one thing I learned from Mr. Peabody (my husband named him, don’t ask) was that love was always on Mr. Peabody’s terms.  If I had time to sit down on the couch to pet him, he may or may not have wanted affection then.  If one of my nieces or nephews was over and wanted to play him and he didn’t feel like being social he would just ignore us and hide under the bed.  He would be purring one moment and scratching and hissing the next moment.  And of course he would always have that look on his face like he was better than the rest of us until he wanted to be fed; then he would “love” us again.  For those of you raising teenagers, do any of these character traits sound familiar?

Last night while I was watching television my almost 15 year old came over and put her head on my lap and we watched TV together. Without trying to appear overly excited, I started scratching her back to coerce her to stay next to me… well, forever if possible. It was the highlight of my week.  You see my teenagers have sadly made the leap to a cat-like existence.  Although they love my husband and I they show it on their terms in their own way.  Gone are the days of our kids hanging out all the time in the family room together.  Usually my teens are gone or in their rooms; if I try to coerce them out like my nieces and nephews used to with Mr. Peabody, further back under the bed they go.  As the parent of a cat/teenager I can never appear to be trying too hard.  That would not be cool and they may give me that look of superiority (until they need 5 dollars). 

Although I mocked the crazy cat lady I guess I have to admit I am a lot like her.  When I think about my kids, especially when I think about them growing up, I really could start sobbing instantaneously.  Like the crazy cat lady I have other interests, hobbies and things that occupy my time but ultimately I’d love to just be with my kids all the time and keep them smothered in my love and over protectiveness forever.  I am so thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in not only raising my precious children but also in helping me through these teenage years.  I don’t know how parents pour into and love their children only to have them later return a catlike love and then ultimately let their children go without God’s hope, peace and discernment. 

“Lord, thank you for loaning me these kids for a short season.  Help me navigate through these teen years as I marvel (with a tear in my eye) at the amazing young adults my children are becoming.  Help me to let them go knowing that You who began a good work in them will carry it on to completion.  Please give me discernment to know where and how to focus my time and energy so that when the “cats” come out from under the bed for some attention, I will be able to make time for them.  Grant me wisdom and discernment whether they are hissing or purring at me and most importantly help me always point them to You.  Amen.”