Sorry, my son’s windows were open…

I had started another post a few minutes ago when our oldest son sat down with his iPod to show me pictures he’d taken from his camping trip this weekend.  Initially, I selfishly groaned inwardly, thinking that I just wanted to finish my list of tasks for the day so I could call the day DONE and drop into my bed.  But then, my teenager son had voluntarily sat down next to me, ready to share the details of his trip that only a few hours before he’d seemed totally uninterested in talking about.   How could a blog post possibly be better than that?!? It can’t. It simply cannot.

Several years ago, Todd and I took a parenting class (when we had one baby and were pregnant with our second…whew, does that feel like forever ago!) and although much of the class has gone the way of many pieces of information (gone, gone, gone), I clearly remember at least this advice (I’m paraphrasing it, of course, and may even get the details wrong, but bear with me): the thought that our children have windows to their beings.  Many times those windows are closed, but if you pay attention, they will open their “windows” and when they do, it’s when they are at their most open as people and will share so much of what they think, who they are, and other intimate details of their character.  I’m so very thankful for that wisdom because I see it in our children.  Perhaps I’m smart enough to have figured that gem out on my own, but I clearly observe different children in our house ‘allow us into their world’ at different times.

My oldest son has a very regular “window opening” time during the day, and most times it’s not when I would choose to schedule such times.  I know for certain that it is not right after any event, whether it’s CC, sporting events, times out with friends, or camping.  Usually, it’s late in the day, close to bedtime.  He comes to talk to his dad, or me, or both, and offers details into his life that we wouldn’t be able to pump out of him at any other time of the day.  I’m grateful to have learned that it can’t be pumped out of him (or any of the kids), no matter how hard we may try.  They have to come to us when they’re ready, and it’s our job to be watchful for the open windows. How many times have I missed the open windows either because I think I’m too busy getting my own jobs done or because I’m not paying attention?  I am working to be increasingly more intentional about looking for the opportunities that are put before me so that I don’t miss when our kids are ready to share and talk.

As I try to wrap my mind around the fact that Todd and I will have a 17-year-old in a couple days, the reality of the shortness of time weighs on me.  Where did those 17 years go? At the time, in the trenches if you will, the days sometimes felt long and tedious, but now, they were gone in a flash.  It makes me realize that time is short for this unique time in our family.  There will be a time when we all won’t live under the same roof again, but instead of letting sadness grip my heart, I’m trying instead to enjoy every day and every crazy situation we find ourselves in.  Hopefully, we’ll remember the ‘new driver days’ fondly and only laugh about the sit com-worthy conversations between beginner driver and white-knuckled parent(s).  I just did the math, and by my calculations, we’ll have new drivers in our house from now until at least 2023.  Surely it will get better by then…right?

And so it goes…every day an adventure.  I’ll be on the lookout for the open windows, whenever they present themselves.

And yes, I didn’t start writing this until after my son had shown me all of his camping pictures and shared all his exciting stories.  He had a bunch, and I was thankful to hear them.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joan
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 08:42:44

    Good parenting advice. Works for grandkids, too!
    It also made me think, as I was reading your story, about our communication with God our heavenly parent. He is always ready to listen when we open our window to Him. He is constantly sharing with us His open window if we can just train our ears to listen as He shares with us all the wisdom we could ever need. It’s how you get to really know your kids, and it’s how we get to really know our Heavenly Father.
    Good post.


  2. Chuck Farley
    Oct 09, 2014 @ 08:46:05

    Love this. I have to admit that there are some of my kids that I have a very difficult time finding that open window time, for others it is pretty easy. God provides discernment for those who will listen. I just have this stupid wax build up in my spiritual ears that is requires some work to get out. (where is that paperclip?)


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