Are you ready to parent teens?

I only found out my youngest, Sara (a freshman at UT), went on a weekend road trip because I stalk her on instagram. This is a tool you’ll want to have on hand if you have teenagers.

It was through instagram I discovered Sara was in Galveston. Not Austin. Yep, she posted these pictures

… so I shot her a text.

Me: Where are you right now?

Sara: Galveston! Meant to tell ya

Me: With who?

Sara: Emily Morris abbey grimes and a bunch of YL guy friends! The guys are staying at a house they rented and we are staying at Emily’s house. We will be back manana.

I sucked in my first response which was not nice. Nope, it was bossy and anxious and manic. The deal is, I don’t really know ‘Emily Morris’ or ‘abbey grimes’ and I certainly didn’t have any info on those ‘YL guy friends.’ So even though she gave me a few details … my mind was running overtime. But after parenting three kids, I have learned the value of saving my energy for the real emergencies and telling my overblown, anxious, mother-imagination to chill-axe (as Sara would say) ~ and lean into God for their safety. Yes, that again. So I did and texted back …

Me: Be careful. Have fun. Love you.

Sara: Will do! Love you too

And I let it lie. Sometimes you do that with teenagers. You let it lie. And you don’t freak out, hyper-manage, and expect the worst. You do a little deep-breathing and praying instead … and let the kid go. And grow up. Whether you’re ready or not. 

But then it happened again.

Yesterday, I’m getting a pedicure, checking FB when I stumble on this video which Sara and her friends made last weekend. (Good thing I stalk her …)

{ready or not}

And I’m watching it dumbfounded.

And smiling.

Realizing, teenagers grow up just fine whether you’re ready to not.

And you know what else? Sometimes when teenagers go on road trips you don’t know about with friends you don’t know ~  and then you find out via instagram or fb ~ it’s not catastrophic. It’s actually awesome.

You just gotta hold on tight to God and enjoy the ride.

PS. Sara and Meraki Creative (who is a friend of Sara’s) actually made 2 more videos last weekend. Check out Dear Daughter and Escape. Gracious.

PPS. I wrote a book about all this stuff: Parenting Your Teen and Loving It: Being the Mom Your Kid Needs