“I have this idea.”
When I say things like this in my household, my family members cringe. They don’t know whether to be excited and look forward to a trip or run to hide in the closet. Usually, both are appropriate responses. Fortunately, for my oldest, we are wired in similar ways. She safely assumes that I am not suggesting a physically active escapade or sweat inducing activity. While the others may be disappointed, we have an understanding that all good things involve deep thought, good conversation and a frothy caffeinated beverage.
The idea that sparked this post is one that has been brewing in my mind since I interviewed her for a blog post in the fall. One of the joys of online school is that we have many hours to discuss news, current events, challenges and important decisions. Keeping the demanding schedule of a high school student in brick and mortar school leaves little time for stress free parental interaction. Our rhythm is very different. Even as I write, we are sitting side-by-side at the kitchen counter while she is completing an assignment for English. This was preceded with a shared cup of coffee. Yesterday’s schedule included a lunch time conversation of goal setting for her non-profit.
For most parents of teenagers, this is foreign territory. But for us, this is a blessed normal. What once was the stress producing hardship of daily activity has become an opportunity to grow and stretch and thrive together. School is demanding. Really, I think the work that she is completing now is challenging her more than ever before. Managing this schedule is only for a driven and independent learner – there is NO WAY I could make her do this. But the gifts of sacred and shared discipline are precious. We are both so aware of the climate of our world, as it relates to the inability to have open conversation. As we read and challenge norms, we have both come to places of frustration and irritation. But as we talk, even when we really disagree, I have been challenged to listen well and sit with discomfort in new ideas.
That is our goal with this blog experiment. Together, we are are going to tackle a new idea, question, thought or conversation each week. We will post two separate written expressions – one through AJ’s eyes and one through mine. Sometimes, they may have a similar voice. Other times, they will be very different. That’s the goal!
We will post on Mondays and Thursdays. For those that regularly follow The View From the Bathroom Floor, you will notice that the layout of the blog has changed a bit. With this new addition, there is now a navigational menu at the top of the home page. Our mom/daughter blog will be called Double Vision. Liturgical Faith has a separate page and all of those blogs are now in one space for easy reading. The most current post will always be at the top of the page.
As I have been given the gift of listening to her thoughts, I am more inspired than ever that we need to have better conversations. I can assure you that her gift for writing and humor and insight will excite you. She is brilliant and sensitive and creative and wise. I am honored to be her mom and learn from her. We have topics picked for the next 6-8 weeks, but if you find yourself engaging in this experiment, send us a note with your thoughts on things that interest you. We would love to create a space where parents, children, grandchildren, cousins and friends can all discuss and interact on the most talked about issues of the day. Let’s learn from each other.
Here goes nothing!