I’ve come to a realization:  I enjoy having my kids around.  Don’t get me wrong – right now they’re all in bed, and I’m quite happy they’re there.  And all of the fighting about Lego? I could totally do without that.

Volleyball season has once again given me a little taste into having teenagers.  Wow. Three kids playing at different times, different practices, all three in youth on a couple of different nights, add to that anything else that might be going on…..my slow cooker and I have been reintroduced.  Seems like all I do is drive – and do laundry, so everyone has their uniform for the next game.  🙂
But, although it’s busy, it’s a good kind of busy.  It also gives me opportunity for some one on one time with each kid, since they’re all going in different directions.  It’s so neat to see the people they’re turning into.  
As they get older, I’ve definitely entered a new season of parenting.  One that in one sense is a lot more hands-off, but in another sense, is so intensely involved.  Stepping back, letting them begin to make their own decisions, their own mistakes.  Letting them discover who they are.  But at the same time, constantly being there.  Being there to cheer them on in their successes, encourage them in their struggles, correct them in their unwise choices, and comfort them in their disappointments.  
The last year has been a struggle for them, to say the least.  And obviously, this is not over. But they’ve done well, and they’ve grown.  I’ve watched the older two grow closer together, and I hope that continues as they get older.  They’ve learned to stand up for themselves, and defend each other.  
I have no delusions that the next years of parenting are going to be all fun and games. But, I’m enjoying this age, and look forward to walking alongside my kids as they continue to grow.