Monday, December 17, 2012

A Pause in Advent - Essence - Family

I'm a late runner in this week's Pause for Advent - life is still busy but in generally good ways! We spent yesterday at church and then watching The Hobbit with the boys, which brings me on to my third ingredient in the 'essence' of Christmas - family.
I'm sure this is one thing that nearly everyone can agree on - Christmas is a time for family. My family member is hiding in the photo above - Son 2 is controlling the innkeeper puppet in yesterday's youth group nativity!
Son 1, usually the shy one, fought for the part of the mad scientist (what do you mean, the Nativity play doesn't usually have a mad scientist?) and ended up sharing the role - here he is is using a most hideous English accent in his role as assistant to the 'German' mad scientist! It brought a lot of laughs...
So here are our fast-growing children, suddenly amongst the teenagers instead of wearing their dressing gowns and looking like little lost shepherds. How do you adapt Christmas to family life as the children grow up and become more independent? In some ways, we have it very easy, as the boys like many of the 'childish' aspects of our celebrations. I read a French magazine article pointing out that at Christmas even teenagers find it acceptable to childish, and that's a rather cheering fact to hold on to.
 
I have very little regretful 'nostalgia' for the boys' childhood years. Yesterday Son 2 asked which 'him' I liked best - the 2 year old, the 8 year old, the 14 year old, or what? I honestly answered that I like the fact that I have been with him at all of these stages, and am still with him as he is growing up. Keeping our sons in a bubble away from other teenaged boys and the pressures of modern life would be rather nice, but is both impossible and, ultimately, very dangerous. There are some hard things for them to deal with as they are getting older - friendships change and many friends they have trusted in the past are into things they shouldn't be into. I'm very grateful for honest sons (honesty can be painful but it's way better than the alternative) and I'm immensely grateful that we are supported by God in the real world. We don't have to pretend that family life is all sweetness and cosiness, but can honestly and joyfully trust God in Reality.

14 comments:

Serenata said...

Great post Floss, I was thinking just that today when I was thinking of our boys...although sad that we missed DS2's first five years. It is great to see them grow and mature and become the younger men they are going to eventually become.

sandy said...

It sounds like you have wonderful boys! I'm thankful my kids are grown up and married though I too enjoyed each stage of their growing up years. Now I have one teenage grandchild and she also had to let go of some long time friends because of the choices they were making. It's hard to be a teen these days. But the youth in her youth group at church are great at encouraging each other so that makes a huge difference!
Have a wonderful week!

Lorrie Orr said...

As someone who has been through the years of teenagers, let me reassure you that, even to them, family is most important in the end. They may not realize it right away, but they will. Friends come and go, but family stays always.

Betty said...

Isn't it such a privelege to watch our children growing into young adults Floss, your son's thought about which age you liked him best was an interesting one! Betty

Kezzie said...

WHat a lovely way to put it. I am glad of your family blessing!x

magsmcc said...

Oh Floss, thank you for the encouragement of this post. Parenting boys is hard. And it's a hard world for boys. I do so value your wise words that speak from stages ahead of me, but not too far ahead! Mattman has only one year left in the dressing gown group!

polkadotpeticoat said...

Well said Floss....They are so precious through all the stages and ages.....Heidi

helen tilston said...

Hello Floss

I like the comment on teenagers enjoying being younger at Christmas time. The play looked like a lot of fun and good laughs are so healthy.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas

Helen xx

Marianne said...

Enjoy your family this Christmas Floss - it is the best time and you are blessed with your sons! I have just been posting my own rather mixed feelings about the coming celebrations, grown-up children and fractured families.

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

It's an interesting time moving from childhood into the heart of teenage years. One can't help but be wistful for the time when people were small but on the other hand it's important and good to move on and keep up with the new chapters and there's lots that's wonderful in them. Blessings on this time with you and yours, Floss. E x

Kaye Swain said...

Oh my, what sweet thoughts. I remember enjoying (most of) the process of my kids growing through the teen years. NOW it's my GRANDKIDS! One teen, two preteens - or tweens. WOW! It never fails to astound me how fast time flies! Sounds like you are doing a wonderful time of cherishing the moments! Have a wonderful Christmas!

josiecrafter said...

Hello Floss
Thanks for visiting my place :-)
I love to hear that your boys are still keen to enjoy the more childlike aspects of Advent and Christmas. These are in many ways the threads that bind each year to the next, aren't they? I'm thinking about how you talk of keeping in the real world, real family life. It is so easy, especially when browsing blogs or magazines, etc to be tempted to try out other ways of doing things. But in the end, it's always authenticity which feels the most comfortable and most in tune with what is right for our families, isn't it?
I hope you are all well and that the remaining Advent days are filled with peace and wonder,
Take care
Josie x

Fiona said...

Your boys sound like great teenagers, we really can't stop the growing up, but yes they do like acting younger sometimes.

Catherine said...

Hello Floss, actually, in my experience, I have to say that families do not always stay no matter what. However, what I do know is that frankness & honesty give us a much better chance with our own children (I've not found a daughter any easier than the boys by the way) & as they emerge into adulthood, if we've kept the lines of honesty & communication open we will, in all likelihood, have a far longer term relationship with them in adult life than we ever had with them as children & that is immensely rewarding & interesting. Some particular values, gifts & talents have not emerged in my own lot until long after they left home.
Have a wonderfully rich Christmas time with your family. Much love Catherine x0x0x