Last night, I sat in on the youth group meeting. The reason was that I was far too tired and lethargic to leave and then come back again. Pitiful, I know. So I was able to "people watch" the youth group. Watching the dynamics of youth interaction was very interesting. The number one thing I noticed is that none of them are comfortable with who they are. They all struggle awkwardly between wanting to be the center of attention and yet not really wanting to be noticed too much either. We have both homeschoolers and public schooled teens and tweens, but there did not seem to be much of a difference between the two. (This two hour teen watching session really has very little scientific basis though.)
They are very comfortable with their group. I am sure the fact that they spend alot of time together has alot to do with that. The older girls in the group sort of take Erika under their wing. I think this is because she is tiny and very loving. I left the group having a good feeling about my daughter's involvement. We are blessed with two couples who work directly with the youth-and they are all 4 wonderful-I love their focus(God and servanthood). There are other grown-ups who also work with the youth who are blessings as well.
Next year I may potentially have two children in the youth group. I have thought about postponing Kayla's involvement, but her advancing development causes me to believe this would not be a wise move. I am still undecided as this will force my oldest child, a late bloomer, into the "younger sibling" role and that does not seem fair. It is also something she has been dealing with since she was three. At first people thought they were twins, for the brief year they were the same size. However, once Kayla passed Erika in height, she became the one people guess as oldest ever since. Even some people who have known us long enough to know better make the mistake.
My children are growing up and I am faced with decisions that will have a huge impact on what type of women they grow into. On one hand, they don't seem alot different. On the other though-I know they are. Erik and I are entering the teen years and this is scary terrain. We come from different ends of the spectrum and neither of us made the wisest decisions. Erik lived with total sheltering and I lived with total freedom. I recommend neither of those but lean more toward total sheltering. Erik did know that his parents truly loved and cared for him, I on the other hand did not feel that. My mom did love me very much-but with total freedom-I felt like no one really cared what I did. I have decided the whole purpose of teenagers is to keep me praying. I am. The world is a scary place for people with no sense of purpose or direction. My prayer is that my kids know Christ and embrace His plans for their life.