Fifteen Years

We’ve just finished our busiest week of the year (work-wise), and are so relieved!  Now we can clean the house (ha! my first priority!), work on projects, and hopefully relax a little.  In the midst of these past few days, we celebrated both Jonny’s birthday (he turned 28 this year because he doesn’t feel like he can keep getting away with 27) and Seth’s.  They both had their usual desserts: Jonny had chocolate eclair pie (from The Grit) and Seth had coffee cake (the recipe on the back of the bag of Pamela’s GF pancake mix.  So good every time!)  Seth turned 15 and I didn’t have much time to get sentimental about the fact that I’ve been a mother for this long, or to start worrying about the fact that it’s time to take my firstborn to get a learner’s permit.  He doesn’t really allow for sentimentality or singing or other such “nonsense.”  He never has.  I did find myself awake between my two youngest boys at 2 a.m. (who are lately both getting in bed with us every night and doing way too much wiggling and kicking), the time of Seth’s birth, and thinking about where I was then (22 years old!) and where I am now.  I am so grateful for our lives together.  I think we’re doing allright despite the fact that we’re broke, the house is a mess, and we didn’t get much school done this week.  Ha!

Before another year is out I’ll have three teenage boys in the house and I do believe I have finally accepted the realities of that (the noise!  the stinkiness!  the fighting between them! the lay about-ness!)  I guess I am over the hump.  I struggle (mightily) with change, and for some reason the change in dynamic from having all little kids to having a mix of teens and littles has been hard for me.  While my boys are still my boys, they are growing up and experiencing sometimes unpleasant personality um…quirks.  Sometimes I just want to shout, “Who ARE you?!”  But then I recall what it was like to be that age.  I really do.  And I remember that it is my job to meet them where they are and help them in this process of sorting out who they are as individuals.  It’s actually pretty exciting.  Yay!  I’m excited about having teenagers!  This is big.  Maybe it helps that they don’t keep me up all night kicking me in the kidneys and wetting the bed.

It’s October!  I love October.  Now, if we can just get through all this rain.  Weasel doesn’t like getting his paws wet.


  1. Your comment about the kids kicking and wetting the bed very much resonates with me in my stage of life! And also reminds me of Jim Gaffigan’s funny piece relating to kids and bedtime (if you have a minute, it’s worth it to check out his comedy routine on it):
    Thanks for your stories, Ginny!

  2. I’m very happy to have discovered your lovely blog. A lot of what you say strikes a chord with me, and I’m looking forward to following along.

  3. Wait a minute! I did the math – that would make Jonny 13…I suppose in medieval times that might work out 🙂
    Happy Double Birthday!!!

  4. I enjoy your posts immensely and am firmly convinced you need to self-publish a book of your posts. Seriously. They are such a delightful mix of humor and hope, life and laughter, while still honest and raw. Even from reading the comments you so often receive, people are drawing strength from you. . .that’s a precious gift.

  5. I think the most challenging thing in my motherhood life was having teens AND little ones. I found I had to resist the urge to want my teens to be young again and let me sooth all their fears and hurts! And then in the next moment they wanted me to treat them like little children! Oh my such challenging times but also so lovely and rich.

    I’m so glad I have God to cry to at night and apologize for all the ways I failed. And he never ceases to forgive me and give me comfort.

    Tell Jonny please that my mother is still 29 when I am way past that number…. so he might be able to keep up his ruse for many more years. 🙂


  6. I’m not a fan of change either but you are doing quite well. They become who they are no matter what and we can lock horns and fight or challenge or we can guide and aid them. You know I loved the teen years so very much. Babies were challenging for me and I guess that is why I only had two of them 🙂 Prayer does wonders so keep on praying!!

  7. I have 3 teens, and then 4 more with the youngest being 1. I am finding it so difficult to parent this great variety of people, ages, and needs. I am having to rely on God to fill in the gaps like never before. It is truly amazing though, to watch them interact and see the way they deeply love each other (not that they don’t fight!).

  8. i was so grateful for my husband when my girls grew older and there was the mix of little ones and teens . . as you described, the change in dynamic can really set one off balance and i just find change difficult to begin with too. it was good he could step right in . . sending you good thoughts for this time 🙂 xoxo

  9. As a mother of almost teenagers (12 &11) who are experiencing their own personality quirks (what a great description!), I find this post so very comforting. These new emotions and changes are throwing me for a very big loop, I’m grateful others are living through this with me, and even finding the joy in it! Now you can rest from your busy week!

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to Jonny and Seth. My Mom raised four boys (no girls to help with the dishes or cleaning) bless her heart. She did a good job although I’m sure she slacked off by the time the two youngest ones came into their teens. I’m sure the hormone monster is rearing its head in your teens as they mature and try to become the adults they desperately long to be. It may be futile but, just look them in the eyes and ask that they try not to grow up too fast. And to quote my Mom, “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it and have to live with it too!”

    Happy October to you and the family; it is a wonderful season albeit a rather wet beginning.

  11. Ginny, I just love your blog, your kids, your rawness, your messes (make me feel so real and remind me of me). You do life well! You have beautiful children and if I lived closer I would want you as a friend. Those berries you picked, what are they called. We have them here and I use them in flower arrangements. Are they poisonous and do you use the as a dye?

  12. I hope your daughter never outgrows that red cardigan.

  13. I do love your blog. Thank you for lovely photos too. My ‘kids’ are now in their 30’s and 40’s are are still loud!! Great fun though. Feel your ‘teen’ angst 🙁 Its great when they find themselves and become the real person growing inside 🙂

  14. What do you use the pokeberries for? We have an abundance of pokeweed which I allow to grow wild in the side yard despite our suburban neighborhood because I think it’s so pretty.

  15. Finding your blog recently has been such a treat! I enjoy reading to and love looking at your pictures. Good blogs have been dying everyday at a rapid rate and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one still old school blogging it. 🙂
    I especially love this post and your honesty about not liking change, the changing of your kids. I have the same struggle, it’s always hard to keep up and get my feet under me when a new phase hits. My oldest is only 11 but I totally hear you on learning to accept and navigate the unknown.
    I love motherhood and how God uses it to grow and stretch us constantly, we never get it and have to continually lean in Jesus.
    Blessings! Hope you find some rest and get your house in order, I’ve been working two days on ours and it feels so good to have a clean house.

  16. As I was looking at your beautiful photos I was thinking, “her kids have the best life!” After the kids leave home it’s too quiet. The rain is really getting to be too much. The dogs, three of them, are running out of places to use the bathroom since I can’t pick up wet you know what and they hate getting wet except of course the Jack Russell.

  17. Love that little boy in the big shoes! Happy birthday to all. I know we will get to the teen years in a flash-amazing how the time flies!

  18. Happy Birthday all!

    What are the berries and what do you do with them? I have seen them here in SC.

  19. Johnny turned 28?
    Ha! He put you up to that?

  20. Happy birthday to Seth! Even my family is loud, and I only have two children, so I think yours must be completely normal. 🙂

  21. Everyone says it goes by so quickly but you never believe it. Three of mine are 20s now with the “Littles” 9 and 12. I realized that this December on their birthdays one will become a teen and the other in double digits. I can no longer call them The Littles. I laughed to them about this and said they would now have to be the “teeny-tweenies”
    For some reason they saw no humour in this (another “oh mom” eye roll). Oh well still paying for college as well so the fun keeps going:)

  22. May I just put in a plug for teenagers?

    Our own experience was that our daughter was often difficult and exhausting UNTIL she was a teenager. Around the age of thirteen, she turned a corner when she started to really understand the world around her. Same was true of one of her friends.

    While it’s true that behavioural patterns are common at different ages, perhaps we fall a little too easily into age-related assumptions (the “terrible twos” for example) some times.

    There’s every possibility that some kids will be even more delightful as teenagers than they were as small kids.

  23. Ginny,

    I adore my twenty-eight-year-old daughter, and we get along well, but there are STILL times when I want to say, “Who ARE you”? It took me a very long time to accept the answer: Not YOU!


  24. Oh boy, do you ever know how to say it, and just when we all need it. Thanks Ginny! Ah, the teen years. Have three of them here, and wondering when this mama is allowed a vacation from some of the drama. Good to remember how we were once in those years, and when I do, I think, gee, what am I complaining about? My poor parents.

  25. jennyann1126 says:

    sigh, my oldest boy doesn’t allow for my ‘nonsense’ either. Which is why I esp love to torment him with my ridiculous shenanigans….at least for now in his preteen years. He especially loathes when I sing Mumford & Sons in my opera voice. And I giggle and find such relief while reading “I think we’re doing allright despite the fact that we’re broke, the house is a mess, and we didn’t get much school done this week.” bc that’s us as well. I mean really, I have to remind myself a hundred times a day sometimes that that stuff really doesn’t matter when we are talking souls here. Thanks for the lift today 😀

  26. …but you know when your children are grown and out of the house
    and you are in a house of quiet everyday… miss the noise!
    …one of the reasons I love visiting here is being around your children………
    the noise and the hustle bustle and the bickering and the playing together
    and the messes and all the animals I truly do miss….and before you know it
    believe you me time waits for no one…they will be grown and out of the house.
    I love your messy life…it’s truly beautiful!…and Happy Birthday to your hubby and Seth!
    thank you for sharing with us!

  27. Gwendolyn says:

    Wow, I’m assuming those stains are from the poke berries you dyed the yarn with. They do make a beautiful color though, but what a mess. Have a wonderful weekend of cleaning and organizing your house!

  28. “Maybe it helps that they don’t keep me up all night kicking me in the kidneys and wetting the bed.” – This made me laugh out loud, and is the first compelling reason I’ve heard to look forward to the teenage years. 😉

  29. Aw! Kids grow up so fast. I hope your October beginnings are golden and encouraging.

  30. Oh Ginny, getting my children through all the growing years…I loved it and I cried from worry, a lot. I found no matter how rough it got or how scarred I got worrying that they could and sometimes did make wrong decisions- keeping the communication open brought us all through the harder times. That and a huge amount of praying!
    I’m so very proud of my kids and the people they have grown into. Those hard times and bad choices they sometimes would make, made them the adults I love to be around today.
    Love your blog, your honesty, and your family is a amazing group of people!

  31. My youngest boy turned 19 in August. The oldest is 25. I definitely prefer the young adult to the teen. Our third was the most “alien” and I can’t wait for him to lose the attitude. He’s very moody. And they are very loud, but my husband is loud. I grew up with three brothers and a quiet father — my brothers were pretty quiet, so I’m blaming dad. 😉 Now I have to get a daughter through her teens (she just hit the teens) and I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot harder than raising teen boys. Loud I can deal with; drama, no.

  32. many years! God bless you all!!!

  33. LouAnne Wronski says:

    Oh, Ginny, I could just sit at my desk and read about your life all day long. You have a wonderful
    way with words, articulating what many of us have thought over the years. Cheers to the teenage years!

  34. This was a good read for my soul this morning, Ginny. I’ll have 3 teens by the end of this month. I also don’t often know who these alien beings with mouths and attitudes are. And I definitely need to do a better job of meeting them where they are. (Even if I want to drag them kicking and screaming away from where there are.) Thanks for the encouraging words. xoxo

    • I think It’s especially difficult when they are behaving in a way that you just KNOW isn’t coming from who they really are, from their true selves. So many FEELINGS. It’s hard.

  35. Happy Birthday’s all around! My oldest is only 9 1/2 and my youngest is 3 months (with 4 others in between). But I too am starting to feel this new pressure from not having just babies in the house but a range of ages and personalities. It’s exciting but also kind of scary. So much to juggle. So much finesse involved. And they are all so loud!

I love to hear from you!