I have found this fantastic blog called Paper Heart Camera that I have enjoyed visiting every day for tutorials and just plain fun with photography. Each week, they offer a chance for readers to link up a photo following a theme, and it is like the awesomeness we remember as kids called Show and Tell. This week’s theme is “Looking Up.”
So, you see the above photo of my oldest girl. That’s my show. Now, here’s my tell.
As you know if you’ve read my past posts, Haley came into the world when I was 19 years old. We’ve been through some good and bad times together, as all mothers and daughters do. I’ve made mistakes, felt guilty about them, and worked to make them right. I *know* all too well how hard it is to be a teenager. It hurts, and sometimes that pain feels like it will swallow you alive. Things that we have beautiful perspective on as 35 year old adults, seem so enormous and glaring, and horrible to someone 15 years old, and I try to always respect that.
(Now, it is going to seem like I am going off on a tangent here, but….bear with me.) A few weeks ago, I clicked on a link to a blog by a gal named Kayla Aimee. You can find it here. Please read it, it will touch your heart, and make you so grateful for the health of your “babies” of any age. In this post, Kayla Aimee describes her sadness, guilt, and emotions of having an ill, very premature baby. I can’t tell you how it has stayed with me, and how I have prayed for her baby, Scarlette. And that brings me back to my girl, and my photo and theme of “looking up.”
As I thought about that tiny premature baby in her isolette, in the NICU of a hospital; I realize that my daughter, though 15 years old and physically healthy, is going through so much in her life right now that leaves her psyche needing the care and warmth of an isolette for the soul. I feel all of the guilt that Kayla Aimee talks about, just in a different way, and desperately want her to get better….want things to “Look Up” for her.
Everyday I come across teenagers, and yes, they can be frustrating; but I remember back to how desperate I felt to belong, to be loved, to have my identity recognized as special. To this day, I am trying to discover who I am, and what I am here for. Please give a teen in your life some love today, even by sharing a smile. We often think their lives are easy, all they do is go to school and come home, and supposedly “enjoy life.” Their lives are NOT easy, and with each passing day, people in their lives that they come into contact with tear their identities to pieces, sometimes unintentionally. I once heard someone speak on this subject, and she said that everyday teens go out into the world with a name tag on that says “Hello I’m Amy”; and with each blow to their identity (being made fun of, excluded, ignored, or sometimes worse), that name tag is torn to pieces; so that by the end of the day….they just have one tiny piece left to cling to. That was potent imagery for me.
Love the kids in your life, they only have 18 years to be kids, and that’s it. Help them to find people that they can “look up” to, dreams that they can look forward to, and a chance to look inward and see something amazing and beautiful.