When my kids were all little, I was a bit intimidated by the idea of having teenagers. I had always loved babies and toddlers and little children, but middle schoolers and high schoolers seemed .... complicated. As my children got older, I preferred helping in the church nursery to helping with youth group. I just couldn't relate to the angst and rebellion and hormones that I saw in other people's kids... but mine seemed to be doing okay. I still liked my kids when they became teenagers, and found they could be witty, charming, helpful, and insightful, as well as confusing, frustrating, and occasionally irritating. I came to enjoy having a houseful of teenagers being loud, eating me out of house and home, and staying up late into the night. Their best friends were mostly great kids who I came to think of as "my kids". As they finished their homeschooling years and went on to college, I looked forward to their phone calls and visits home, and nothing made me happier than a house full of teens and young adults!
Now two of my children are college graduates. One is still a college student and my 4th child and baby girl just graduated from high school last weekend but is taking a "gap year" to figure out what direction she wants to head in next. I only have one child left to homeschool, and that one, my BABY BOY, is turning 13 this summer. He still tries to fold himself up to fit on my lap.... but it doesn't work too well anymore. He is gloating over the fact that he now seems to have passed me in height, making me the shortest person in the family.
I still love babies and little children, and am looking forward to the day when I will have grandchildren to dote on, read to, play with, and teach new things! A baby in my arms is one of the sweetest things in the world. But those teens and twenty-somethings? They aren't so intimidating anymore! They're pretty cool people - at least the one's I know! And they still appreciate mom's cooking, mom's companionship, and sometime's even mom's advice.