Saturday, February 21, 2009

Playing Parent

This weekend my Aunt asked me to stay with her two boys over the weekend while she was in Nashville. I thought no big deal they are 17 and 13. I was really looking forward to spending some time with my cousins. The oldest and I used to be very close when we were younger. There was six years between us, but both of our parents divorced and we were more like brother and sister than cousins.

I have always wanted kids. I always joke I was born to breed because of how much I love kids. I love kids so much that I would rather babysit on a friday than go out. I sit and imagine what it will be like when I hold my own little one in my arms and rock it to sleep. Or what it will be like when I save the day and find my toddlers blankie. Or what it will be like to help my own child with their projects and homework. But I never sit and imagine what it will be like when they're teenagers. Its like in my mind they stop growing after 10.

When I agreed to stay with the boys I thought they are teenagers this will be a piece of cake, but what I realized last night is that raising a teenager is far from easy. Here is this being that you have loved and nurtured, and you want everything in the world for them, but everyone is human and at sometime in your childs life they are going to hurt you. Intentional or unintentional the hurt is still real. It could be something as little as not wanting you around anymore or shutting down and not talking to you like they used to when they are younger. Or it could be something bigger such as deception or disrespect.

I hope that with God's help I will be able to raise my kids to be good people, but there is still a possibility that they will rebel. I feel sorry for my aunt now. Her oldest has been having a lot of problems lately, and I know she must feel so hopeless. I'm not sure where my aunt's relationship with God is right now, but I know she doesn't beleive in organized religion, and doing this on her own has to be hard. I pray for my cousin all the time. I have talked about the mistakes I have made and the regrets I have, but him be a 17 year old male thinks he knows everything. I wish I could get him into church, and away from the crowd he hangs out with now. Church saved my life when I was his about age. If I hadn't gotten away from the crowd I was hanging out with at 15 who knows where I would have been at 17. He is so angry all the time, and I know he is depressed. His life is spiraling out of control, and I know deep down he probably wants to change. To feel happy again. To be able to look himself in the mirror and say you are worth more than this. But change is hard, and most people take the path to least resistance. I am evidence that change is possible. Not on your own, but with God. He is the key ingredient.

I want to take back control of his life for him since he can't handle it. I think drastic changes need to be made in his life. Take him out of the school he is in now, and put him in the school in his district. For us not to tolerate his disrespectful words and the tone he uses with not only me, but the mother who raised him. To force him to go to a counselor to work out whatever is making him self-destruct. But I am just an outsider looking in, and its easy for me to say what I would do in the situation, but its not my situation. So I keep quite about my feelings, and just pray that God will heal this family and bring my cousin to his breaking point so that he won't have to be told to change, he will want to change.


  1. KST:

    I feel for you. It is so hard to watch people you love in pain. Your Aunt is probably doing the best she thinks, but it sounds like she's alone and that is so tough. Just let her know you are there for her and her boys. You are such a sweet girl, I'll pray for them and hope that she will find The Lord. Hang in there!

    PS. On a lighter note, I know you tagged me and I will get to it soon, I've been packing like carzy :)

  2. Your poor Aunt. I cant imagine what I must be like to have to be responsible for children all alone. I will definitely pray for her. I agree with the PP, she sounds like she's doing the best she can and is probably so thankful for you being there for her.

    Although I associate myself with 'organized' religion, I don't think God cares. I don't believe he's going to damn you and accept me because I'm Catholic, or Episcopalian, or whatever, and you're not. And vice versa. I think all He cares about is that you have a true and loving relationship with Him. I really think that's all He wants- our time and our unconditional love. Know what I mean? I'm sure your aunt can still have a relationship with the Lord and not be tied to a religious affiliation. But you may want to just speak to her about it. It seems like right now, she needs the Lord more than ever. No one can handle children alone. She needs Him in her life, regardless of what church she attends. Prayers for you and your family. :) xoxo

  3. I have been slacking on the WW so bad. I forgot to weigh in this morning when I woke up and I've already eaten too much today so I will have to do it in the morning. Have you made any more progess?

  4. I wanted to clarify that my Aunt is not a single parent, although at times she feels like one. She is married, but my uncle works nights and has to sleep during the day so he doesn't get to spend as much time with my cousins.