My son is headed to high school in the fall. My daughter starts middle school. Working from home -- with them home -- this summer has put my focus on the fine art of parenting teens.
My brother's soon-to-be-four year old is increasingly independent, and stubborn about it. He wanted to know if the challenges of parenting get any better. They don't. They just change.
My family is in a place where the rules, boundaries, and lines the kids aren't allowed to cross are changing fast. As parents, my husband and I are constantly reassessing what's negotiable and where we have to stand firm. Letting go gradually is an art, and it needs constant revision.
Sometimes a poem surfaces at just the right time. Today, I found "The Place Where We Are Right," by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. It appears in a book for teens, Faith & Doubt: An Anthology of Poems, by Patrice Vecchione.
The Place Where We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai, trans. Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell
From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
Read the rest at Tricycle Magazine. You'll have to scroll down for the poem, but if this post speaks to you, you'll want to read the article.
My son has been away at camp for the last week. Missing him has felt like love digging up our world, the rawness of his absence working in the dark. How do we teach a teen with a new-found sense of independence that flowers will never grow in the place where we are right?