My husband started a tradition in our family eight years ago when our oldest son turned 13.  He takes our boys for a weekend away with dad when they turn 13.  The purpose is to spend time one-on-one talking about life, girls, dating, purity, and just being a teenager.  They also just hang out and do fun things together.  We have family and close friends write letters to them and we put them into a scrapbook for them to keep.  Then they can reread the letters when they want to.  The hope is that the letters will be something they can go back to and will be a source of encouragement to them through the tumultuous teenage years.

Well, our third son, Joshua, turned 13 last month and my husband is away this weekend for our son’s special time with dad.  I am so glad he started this tradition.  I know it is something our boys will remember for their entire life and it makes them feel loved and special.

After my husband and son left yesterday I was in the car driving our 10-year-old daughter, Rachel, home from school when I suddenly was bombarded with a million questions about this weekend away with dad.  She doesn’t remember five years ago when her other brother turned 13 and had his weekend away with dad, so this was all new to her.  I could tell she felt slighted.  She couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been able to go away with dad!  I laughed and explained the whole tradition to her and that she would get her turn in three years. Then, the inevitable hit me!  Um…gulp…I would be the one to take Rachel for her 13-year-old weekend away, not dad.  I panicked a little on the inside and hoped that she didn’t notice.  Rachel is our baby, and in three short years she will be a teenager.  I realized that I better get my head around the idea of raising a teenage girl because it’s gonna happen really soon.  This is all just happening way too fast!

The panic has left me for now, but I’m left this morning feeling a little nostalgic.  The time is passing so quickly.  It makes me realize how important every day is with our kids, and it kind of puts it all into perspective.


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