This last week our eldest son became a teenager! I believer in celebrating this transition and making it special and memorable. So we planned a few ways to commemorate this milestone in his life.
First, he had a party with a few of his favourite friends and had a lot of fun with them, playing games and hanging out together.
Gathering to speak positive words…
Then, I organised a gathering of adults who had been a part of his life so far, and who had influenced him in some way over the years. We had cake and tea and got together to let him know how special he is to us.
I asked them to think about what they love about Joel and to come prepared to tell him. They did this, and it was so heartwarming to hear their favourite things about him. Things about him that were pointed out were his refreshing honesty, his joy and infectious laugh, his pure heart without any malice, his thoughtfulness and kindness and the touching way he is with animals. (My son just adores animals, especially dogs and cats).
Then also, because we are Christians, we had a time of prayer for him and each person present prayed something specific over his life.
Others who were not able to make it are sending in messages for him too.
A commemorative book…
Finally, I am putting together a book for him to mark his life up until now, with photographs of him growing up, details about his favourite things and who he is as a person, and the messages from people telling him what they love about him and what they believe his future holds.
The turbulent teen years
Becoming a teenager can be a turbulent time in a young person’s life, and I want our son to know that we believe in him and hold him in positive regard – and to go forward in his teen years knowing what good qualities he has and holding onto the truth that he is special and loved. It’s my hope that this get together and the book will show him this in a tangible way that he can remember. I also want him to remember that there are important adults in his life who know him, and are ‘looking out’ for him.
It takes a village
I have heard somewhere that it ‘takes a village to raise a child’ and so in this modern, disconnected age it’s good to gather together a small ‘village’ for our children.
What about you? Do you have children who are soon to be teenagers – and do you want to celebrate this milestone in a special way?