By Elisabeth Klein, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
My teenaged children have grown up under the dark cloud of knowing that they are genetically predisposed to a certain kind of addiction. It’s a sad reality and it can still bring me to tears that they have had to learn such ugly things so early on in their lives. But it’s my job as their mother to equip them to handle life as best as they can, and appropriately sharing about this issue has been just part and parcel of my raising them.
But something that I didn’t see coming was how this knowledge would affect how they look at me and my choices, even though I am not the gene-carrier.
We were at dinner recently and I ordered a pomegranate martini, something I do on occasion but something I almost never do in front of my children, I realized.
And my son looked at me and whispered, I’m watching you. At first, I became inwardly defensive, thinking, I’m not the one with the problem. Oh yeah, and I’m a grown up.
But then he said, I’m watching over you.
I had to turn my head away so he wouldn’t see the tears that had immediately formed in my eyes. My son…my baby-boy-turned-young-man…was concerned for me and protecting me.
The tears came for two reasons.
First, I’m so grateful that he loves me like that. He doesn’t say it very often, but I know he does.
But secondly, it made me so sad because he thinks he has to protect me from myself even though I do not have a problem in this area. He shouldn’t have to feel this way, this young man of 16. He shouldn’t have to worry about his parents – their safety, their emotional health, how they treat each other, how they treat him and his sister. But this boy does. That is his reality.
So later that night I told him that I wouldn’t be drinking in front of him anymore because I could tell that it made him uncomfortable and that I’d be doing so because he comes first. He needs to know that with me.
And I will talk to him about the fact that I’m not his responsibility though it’s so sweet of him to care. And that I am making good choices about my health and life. And that he can trust me. But that most of all, that God is watching over me so he doesn’t have to.
(C) Elisabeth Klein, 2014
Elisabeth is a single mom to Sara (17-1/2) and Jack (16). She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing. She is the author of Moving on as a Single Christian Mom, Living Through Divorce as a Christian Woman: Questions & Suggestions, Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage: Questions & Suggestions, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage, In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul. All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com. Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild and has been featured on Moody’s In the Market with Janet Parshall, This is the Day with Nancy Turner, and Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea.
Visit her website here.
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Publication date: September 30, 2014
Page Source (url): http://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/teens/are-you-watching-over-your-children.html