I never dreamed that I would need to navigate the pre-teen/teen years without Scott. And his absence has been hitting home to me in an increasing way throughout this first year of middle school for Jaelyn. I am acutely aware of all the positive experiences that he is “missing” out on experiencing - going to her first school dance, seeing her really become passionate about soccer and excel at it, becoming much more independent and responsible around the house, learning to play the guitar. . . the list could go on and on.
I truly am very proud of Jaelyn and who she is and who she is becoming as she matures. She is a really wonderful young lady (yes I am biased) that is excelling at whatever she puts her mind to. She makes wise choices in her decisions and friends. That said, I could really use Scott's perspective, wisdom, and humor in navigating the social life of a middle schooler, the moods and hormones of a pre-teen, and interpreting if moods are of concern or simply normal for her age.
I can say that there are probably two times in the last twelve plus years that I have felt truly inadequate as a parent — navigating the death of Scott and now navigating Jaelyn’s pre-teen years. Most of parenting has felt fairly simple in that the main focus has been instilling values and morals and teaching right from wrong. Now I find myself entering the realm of dealing more in emotions than “black and white” right from wrong. Navigating emotions feels like walking through a minefield some days (maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but the change happened way too rapidly). Truly I find myself literally breathing out prayers for wisdom as regularly as taking a breath some days. Prayer is the rock that I stand on and I try to take each moment as it comes, not look too far ahead, and not overthink or under think everything — and that is certainly not as simple as it sounds.