The Maturity of a Thirteen Year Old Boy

“Don’t let him decide!”
“Be the parent!”
“Go back on your word!”
“He’ll get over it!”
etc.

This was the advice I was given, time and time again, about whether or not to let Nathan choose where he wanted to live, but the problem was I’d already given him (and Carolyn) that choice to make on their own.

Right after Scott and I got married, I told the kids about the move and gave them the right to choose where they’d wanted to live. Both of them decided to move with me and give Texas a shot, and both of them hated the change, but it was still up to them about where to live.

At one moment, since the kids missed the start of schools in San Diego, I told them they’d be staying the school year here, which Nathan didn’t like AT ALL but followed my direction.

During the first week, he begged me to go back to San Diego, so I began to weigh it out in my mind: should I let him go?; should I make him stay?; will either be a regret?; should I split Carolyn and Nathan up?; so on and so forth, and started asking friends about what to do.

I’d been asking and listening to so much advice from others that I ended up confused about what it was “I”‘d wanted to do, so I cut out all communication about it with friends, except for a couple, and it was THEN that I received the BEST advice EVER!

While on the phone with my girlfriend, she said, “Don’t listen to anyone, Laura, because in the end, YOU are the one who has to LIVE THROUGH whatever decision you make!”, and that spoke directly to me and broke up all confusion.

For the most part, Nathan wasn’t asking “if” he could go…it was a matter of “when” because I felt I should’ve kept my word in letting him choose, so I asked him not to ask about it for a couple days, so I could spend some time with God, and he backed off, while I moved forward.

In that time alone, I thought about living through each decision, and started with “if I made him stay.”

As I thought it through, I imagined his solemn countenance, his loss of smile and laughter, the distance he kept in his mind and eyes, and I thought about seeing him that way most of the time and what that’d look like. Then, I thought about “if I let him go.”

Immediately, I imagined his joy, his reunion with his friends, his bonding with his dad and thought about my phone calls with him laughing, hearing his smile take form on his face and what that’d look like, and it seemed to be a no-brainer, so of course, I’d let him go.

Already, I’d been looking up flight prices but really wanted to drive him back but didn’t have the nerve to ask if I could, so I kept it inside and didn’t buy the plane ticket. Instead, I asked God to change his mind. That was two weeks ago.

I told Nathan about the prayer, and he said, “I’m going,” so I discussed with him the pros and cons, just so he’d be aware of what life’d look like if he left (or if he stayed).

By now, we would’ve been in San Antonio, on our way to San Diego, but instead, I’m writing this piece because Nathan (or God) changed his mind.

On Thursday, as I was coming home from picking up Carolyn, I received this text from Nathan: “I’m going to stay longer.” I was shocked.

I’d planned to leave at four this morning, had everything set up with a few friends, and had had peace about him leaving, which was replaced with peace about him staying.

I asked him what changed his mind, and he said, “I thought about the pros and cons and decided I’d give “here” some more time. I’ve also made some friends, which helped.””

You know, many people told me that he wasn’t mature enough to think on his own, that he’d base his decision off feelings alone. Well, they were wrong.

When I’d sat with God during those two days, I thought about my first choice in giving him the decision and really wanted to keep my word. I’d spent a lot of (drinking) years disappointing my children and didn’t want to start doing that now, so I’m glad I kept my word.

He’s still not sure how much longer he wants to stay, but now that it’s HIS choice to stay, his attitude has changed.

People may not agree with my parenting skills, but they also don’t have to live in my house. The past few months have not been easy for us, but the one thing we have is that we’re together, and I think that’s important.

I told Nathan that things will be different because I’m learning from some Curry Blake teachings, so instead of us being casualties of war, I’d be fighting for our family, as we walk in victory!!

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