Summer Love

This morning, as I sat clutching my cup of coffee, willing myself awake, the children began a discussion about love, getting married, and kissing on the lips.

It is WAY too early for this conversation, I thought, as I attempted to blend in with the couch.  And by WAY too early, I don’t mean too early in the morning, but TOO EARLY IN MY LIFETIME.

We have expended a good deal of parenting energy discussing the merits of FRIENDSHIP between young boys and girls, while dissuading the whole boyfriend/girlfriend scenario.

A battle that has been hard fought, to be sure.  Especially since the media targets young girls, feeding into the idea that they should look and act a good deal older than they really are.

Don’t even get me started on that one.  But I will say that episodes of Hannah Montana and other Disney fare geared to the impressionable tweens have been banned in our house.  Still.  My oldest daughter gravitates toward the forbidden, and longs to steal glances at the paraphernalia pedaled with the tweens in mind.

Before anyone gets their underdrawers twisted into an uncomfortable knot, this is a very personal choice made in our house, and not meant as any kind of a judgement toward anyone who does not share our opinion.

Basically, the ideology we are attempting to infuse our children with, are the merits of modest dress, and appropriate and respective behavior toward members of the opposite sex.

We fight this battle daily with our 10 year old.  Who loves to STRETCH her boundaries to the point of breaking, and gravitates toward the Boy Crazy.

Because she is my child.

I gave my parents the very same battle, going so far as to become engaged in the 4th grade.  Shout out to Tom Cavenaugh, should you ever stumble upon this blog.  And btw, in the summer of 1970, I lost the adjustable bumble bee ring you gave me.  I cried bitter tears to repetitive audio renderings of “Go Away Little Girl” on my close-n-play phonograph over that loss, and the fact that you moved away without so much as a goodbye.

But I’ve moved on.

My children finally steered their conversation toward marriage, with Emme announcing rather strongly that SHE WAS NEVER GOING TO GET MARRIED.  Since I did not just fall off of the turnip truck, as she believes, I know this to be a ploy.  Aimed at throwing me off guard.  But I’m onto her, and continue to keep laser eyes focussed on her comings and goings.

Cailey just sat and took the conversation in.  She never EVER discusses the opposite sex with anyone but me, and always under the cloak of secrecy.  Still waters run deep, with that one.  She has a very definite opinion on what she likes and doesn’t like, and she has a very good 8 year old head on her shoulders.  I really don’t think I’m going to have to worry much with her.  In fact, given her rather headstrong nature, I think it best if I just continue to pray that when the time is right, a very Godly and STRONG man enters her life.

Because without God, and Herculean strength, he won’t stand a chance.

Jensen rounded out the discussion with a very firm, “WELL, I’M GOING TO GET MARRIED SOME DAY, AND I KNOW WHO I’M GOING TO MARRY!”

I prepare myself for either Minnie Mouse, or our sweet and very pretty pre-school director at church, who he pines over.  Yes, Sylmarie, I’m talking about you.

“Who are you going to marry, buddy?”

“A PRINCESS, THAT’S WHO.”

Right on dude.  And you will most certainly treat her like a princess.  Just like your daddy treats your mommy.

I think the best way we can prepare our children for marriage is to set the best example possible.

The second best way is to hit my knees and pray to almighty God for the all strength that I’m going to need to allow them to have wings.  And at the same time to spare them from making bad choices and all the heartache which follows.

And thirdly, to remember to keep the medicine cabinet well stocked with Extra-strength Excedrin and tissues.  Oh.  And a bottle or 5 of my favorite dessert wine.  (Which by the way, can be found by the CASE LOAD at World Market.  Just saying’.)

15 Responses to Summer Love

  • Hmmm.

    It’s an interesting thought, sparing your child from making bad choices.

    I mean, I agree with that to an extent (the “big ones”, which are in ways life threatening).

    Anyway, I know a great deal of people who seem to feel as you do. I hope you fare better than they, because many of them can’t let their children go for fear of the mistakes they will make.

    • Christine,
      I know exactly what you mean. And that’s why my fervent prayer is to be able to let them go off to make their own way in the world, making their own mistakes, and learning the valuable life lessons from those mistakes. As had as that is. We’re just trying to lay a very solid foundation for them now, to help them make better choices later on. 🙂

  • I just love that a complete stranger is going through the same thing we are going through over here. (Well, I use the term complete stranger loosely, considering how much I know about your family’s body fluids.)
    Just this past week we have had quite a few conversations about the boy/girl thing with our 10 and 7 year-old girls. I wish we didn’t have to yet, but as you said, there is just sooooo much being thrown in their faces. And we don’t even have cable! So, just like you I will stay on my knees for the next couple decades. We can’t be perfect parents, but we can sure be praying parents.

  • Dee dee,
    I agree with you. As Christian parents our biggest responsibility is to pray to our Heavenly Father on behalf of our children. I am the mom of three teens. (2 boys and 1 girl) I know I can’t hold them too tightly….but, I know my prayers are heard. I pray for them and their future spouses and that God would bring them HIS best….not just a good choice, or an okay choice…but, the BEST choice for them, and that they would be wise in their decisions, in a world that does not honor Godly values.
    Thanks for sharing this blog…..it is a struggle all parents deal with:) You rock, sistah!

  • Oh boy do I hear you there. I have several channels blocked through our tv and the kids give me a hard time about it but #1 I cannot stand most of the tween actors anyway they overact and their characters are so obnoxious. It does not help that my sweet 11 yr old girl has developed into what resembles ar 14 year old girl and she does not know what to do with the extra hormones and is frustrated that I won’t let tv and media help with that. The other frustrating thing is shopping for clothes and finding out that stores also want us to dress our sweet girls into hooker outfits as young as kindergarten age. Really? I kindergartener really needs a belly tee and ankle bracelet? My sweet girl and I had the opportunity to talk while we were shopping at 6 different stores to find a modest swimsuit, I won’t even go into the floss they expect our girls to wear. In any case hang in there Momma! Your doing a great job! It is so hard to raise a modest child in a sinfully unmodest world.

  • I have a 13 year old and a 15 year old…both girls. You can pray for me. Anyway, we did allow Hannah and the like, but we TALK about it all the time. The way they act, the way they dress, etc. We watch 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom on MTV (together) and talk about consequences and how the guys treat the girls (and their parents…oy!). Anyway, people may not think it’s right, but it’s what we have chosen to do. My theory (and I’m not discounting yours or how you raise your kiddos, that is your and your husband’s decision-please don’t take this as “judgement” for it is not intended that way) is that I want them exposed to it while they are at home, under our direction and we can deal with it as it comes. I’ve seen some pretty sheltered kids that turn 18 and go nuts. I really don’t want that for my girls.

    Now, on the subject of modest dress…my 15 year old wears a D cup…you haven’t lived until you’ve tried to find a “modest” swimsuit in the JR. department for a child in a D cup. They don’t exist! We’ve done the best we can, but she frequently has to wear a t-shirt over her suit. Oh, and when my girls were little, the pants with the writing on the backside were all the rage. My girls knew to not even ASK. I’m sorry, no one needs to be reading your fanny!

    • LOL no kidding. Really who wants to send their child out with the word JUICY written on their keister. LOL and wow that must be tough on your daughter. My daughter is not quite in a D cup but she is developing much faster phyiscally then emotionally. Poor girl. Someone told me there is a few stores online that sell modest swiming suits. I might check them out but I bet they are pricey.

  • Not Tom Cavenaugh the actor? I have young children and can identify with your post (and completely agree with you), but I lost focus at the mention of Tom. Is the name just a coincidence? Must know.

    • Sadly, no. I looked it up just to be certain. Tom Cavenaugh, the actor, is 3 years younger than I am. Tom Cavenaugh, the 4th grade fiance, was my age, had strawberry blonde hair, and freckles. And awesome taste in women. At least in the 4th grade…

  • Well, it seems we are on the same page yet again, my bloggy friend. I have twelve year old daughter, and an almost eleven year old son. We actually pulled out a series of books called “God’s Design For Sex” a couple of years ago and really started speaking candidly about sex, modesty, and all things related. Now we can speak openly (but non-judgementally) when we see people doing different things than what God instructs in His Word.
    We have banned most of the tween shows around here, too. More because they don’t portray a godly sense of relationships of ANY kind (parent, sibling, friend, boy/girlfriend) than anything. Plus they promote promiscuity and immodesty. Why would I subject my kids to feeling like they are the odd ones out, if they don’t dress/talk/act like the kids they see on TV? And don’t get me started on how the kids they see on TV usually grow up to be immoral, self-seeking hoodlums. It breaks my heart to see it, and I’m all grown up!
    And I’m keeping laser eyes on my baby girl, too! I was a boy-crazy makeout queen at her age, and I want better for her. I have so many scars from my childhood. What mom DOESN’T want to protect her child from that?

  • A bunch of years ago when my children were young, following the advice of Stormie Omartian, I started praying for my children’s spouses. I love that I have been praying for these random children who will one day marry my kids. It gives me a sense of being connected to the process.

    That said…my daughter is a lovely 16 year old with a 17 year old boyfriend. Ohh the conversations we’ve had. But because she is still comfortable talking to me, mostly because she knows I won’t freak out, the dating scene has been okay. I know she will keep some things from me.

    But I had an akward situation recently with a friend. Her son, who is at a Chrisitan school has been forbidden to date until 16. I didn’t know this. He is a friend of mine on facebook, but I think he forgets I can see his posts. Well…he had a very obvious girlfriend, pictures of kissing included, for at least six months. The break up must have been bad because there was much moaning and heartache on his profile page. I made the mistake of saying to my friend, “oh has he gotten through the breakup okay?” “What breakup?” She replied. She had absolutely no clue he had a girlfriend…I back peddled a bit and realized I should stay out of it. That whole thing reminded me that just because we set rules and they seem to be open with us…they’re all still wily, sneaky kids. God bless us mothers, everyone!

  • I suppose I should comment on the actual post because it is a good post indeed and there is so very much I could say about it/add to it, etc., but I’m just too darn lazy right now. But I have to say that I really, really, really heart that picture!! Did you take it? Love it!

  • I have a 15 year old boy and a soon to be 12 year old girl. They are not allowed to date until they are 16 and then only in groups. No one on one dating. It has discouraged my son as he doesn’t see the point in having a girlfriend if he can’t date.
    Finding a bathing suit for my daughter is a nightmare. She is long in the torso so if I find a bathing suit long enough it gapes open at the legs or back. I don’t like two piece bathing suits but have had to resort to modest ones at times. Tankinis can be a lifesaver. I agree with what some other posters said. When you make the jump from 6x to 7 it is like going from 6 year old to teenage hooker with some of these clothes. My daughter is at the point where she will pull something out and then go “I know I know, I can’t get it”! At least she is learning 🙂

  • DeeDee,

    I don’t comment often but felt the need to comment here. I have a blog post in my head waiting to be typed and posted but the time to start praying for your children’s spouses is NOW. Don’t wait until they start dating or get serious about the other sex. I went to a church retreat years ago when our children were the ages of yours and the speaker impressed on me the importance of praying for my childrens’ future mate AT THAT MOMENT. I now have two daughter-in-hearts (don’t like the “in-law” word) and love them like my own. Recently one of them went through a difficult time in her life and called me in tears. My heart broke and hurt for her and I had tears in my coffee for days just praying and thinking about her. Later, I realized that she was truly connected to my heart because I had prayed for her long before she was born. <3

    Hang in there…the best is yet to come!

    Laurie in TN

  • I’m surprised that Tom Cavanaugh is not your “friend” on Facebook. Tom Douglass has found me.

    I fear for Jude too. Because he seems to have a penchant for high-maintenance women. While he (thanks goodness) claims to think girls are “icky”, he tends to follow around the girls who are the most demanding, head-strong, and fabulously beautiful. He, on the other hand, is incredibly easy-going, nothing’s a problem. So I fear he is in for much heartbreak.