We Have a Teenager!

It is hard to believe that many of you have been around since John’s first birthday celebration on the blog.  I started Dixie Delights right after he turned 5, and number 6 was the first one I shared here.

Well, seven years later and and that cutie is thirteen!  In lieu of a birthday dinner at Japanese or fondue last night, he chose to go to his standing youth group meeting.  I told him he could have a hall pass on that but they adopted a family and were shopping for the gifts.  I think a little part of my heart broke just then – that he didn’t want to be with us – but another part of it swelled with pride that doing something for someone else was how he wanted to spend his 13th birthday.  And so, Daddy-O got him Krispy Kreme for a quick breakfast, he was off to school all day, then to church, and we finally got to see him for a few fleeting minutes over take out fried rice (his choice) before he had to do his homework.

It’s funny how kids are born with a personality.  I’ll say  many of the same things about him now that I did then.  He’s driven, hard-working, kind to others, a leader, easy to befriend and a model citizen.  He follows the rules and pushes himself so hard that we don’t have to.  I know that y’all don’t hear much about him here on the blog, but he’s happy in school, had a perfect report card in the first quarter, made the select lacrosse team again, plays Fortnite with his buddies in every waking moment and still loves being outside.

I know I’ve had a teenager for one solid day, but its been coming for months.  I’m not going to lie and say that parenting a teen has been a walk in the park.  It’s frustrating, inspiring, maddening, joyful, challenging, easy…. you know, kind of like being an emotional teen again myself while living in the body of a 42 year old mother.  haha.

My prayer for John in the years ahead is that he stays rooted and grounded in God’s love, and that he knows that his family loves him unconditionally.  I pray that he always sees his self worth, and that he can walk upright in integrity and good conscience with his decisions and choices.  I pray that he is courteous and chivalrous, because I know those things aren’t dead.  I pray that he is warm, true, trustworthy and respectful in his relationships.  I pray that he is hard working, yet generous with his time and resources.  I pray that he can be uninhibited in his happiness, know true joy, and that he can always see the glass as half full.  And, as we continue to navigate this thing called parenting, I hope that he knows we are fighting for  him, not against him, with every breath in every moment of every single day.

More than any thing I’ve ever been able to do for him, I hope he knows that his little brother was the greatest gift of all, and one that can stand the test of time, challenge, heartbreak, loss, sickness, confusion and despair.  I pray that he always has his brother by his side.

Godspeed, son.

Photos by Kimberly Mitchell at Portrayable Photography


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15 thoughts on “We Have a Teenager!

  1. Happy birthday, John! Teenagers are fun in a whole new way. I have no doubt that y’all will enjoy it and celebrate the young man he is becoming. Such a blessing to watch him grown in his love for God and his family.

  2. Amanda,
    Haven’t connected in a while. You are in my thoughts and prayers this time of year especially! What a beautiful sentiment, and precious photographs. I go through these emotions EVERY birthday each of my five daughters has… this is why I cherish our time in Disney SOOO much. I feel as if I JUST held each of them in my arms and loved on them for the first time, and now they are 21, 18, 15, 15 and 9. Sheesh! We’ll be in Disney in June and again in December of 2019. My oldest has waited to graduated college to enter the DCP (she’s always wanted to, but didn’t want to interrupt any semesters at college :) . Anyway, hope all is wonderful! Wishing you the many blessings and joys Advent and Christmas bring <3 xoElizabeth

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine what a gift it would be as an adult to be able to look back on my mom’s words and thoughts at times like these.

    I don’t have any children of my own yet (hopefully soon!), but you are a major inspiration as a mother. I admire the way you love your kids and truly seize every moment to make life special and happy for them. Happy birthday to John and congratulations to you and your husband on raising a really great kid!

  4. Happy Birthday to John!

    You’re right friend – parenting teens is no walk in the park. But, it is AMAZING. It is hard, and nerve-racking, and will make you want to pull your hair out at time. But you will LOVE it. And, I’ll also say, there will be times you’ll have to TELL him that you are FOR him and not against him. He’ll always know it in his heart, but it won’t always feel like it.

    I wish you nothing but joy in the years to come; this was a lovely tribute to your first born. xo

  5. Oh my, he looks SO much like Honey in the cookie dough confections picture! Happy teenage mama, Amanda! My biggest will be 16 in June and I’m relatively sure the last few years happened yesterday. Enjoy it!

  6. I’ve been following from the beginning and can hardly believe he is 13. He and my oldest grand are just 6 months apart. You wrote a loving post to him, what a treasure that will be to him. And, my advice, do not blink! These next years fly!!

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