It's Tuesday and I have been thinking a lot about what to write this week.

This past week at school I watched a young Mom struggle with what to do. The class was meeting outside and the kids were running around playing. Her daughter was having a hard time staying at school that day, and I could see this Mom wrestling with herself about what was right...right for her and right for her daughter. I decided to step in and suggest that it would be better for this lovely little girl if her Mom left her. The Mom handed her child immediately to me and left. Within a matter of seconds the little girl stopped crying, I put her down, and she began to giggle and run with the other children.

When we were done outside and entered the building to begin our day, the school secretary approached me and said the little girl's Mom had called and needed and wanted to know how she was doing. I relayed the information about how quickly she had stopped crying and how well she was doing. We proceeded with our day and when this little girl's Mom came to pick her up, she shared with me how difficult it had been to leave her daughter and that she had cried all the way home.

Later that day, as I was at home, I thought about what a great thing that Mom had done. She had taken the time to decide what was best for her child, listen to another idea and then do what was hard for her, but good for her daughter. She Evolved!

I had a wonderful therapist I would talk to from time to time while I was deep in the throws of raising my 3 children. I figured I could use all the help I could get! This parenting stuff gets really hard at times! From leaving your little ones, to helping them navigate the early years of elementary school, onto the really scary times of adolescence and awkwardness and finally the truly terrifying time .....TEENAGERS! She helped me a lot! One of the best types of advice she gave me was to evolve. Just as your children evolve through all the stages of growth while growing up, good parents evolve too. Good parents evolve through all the parenting stages and grow as parents.

When you bring that first baby home you have NO IDEA! I mean that literally. You have absolutely no idea what you are doing. You may think you do because you've read all the books about parenting you can get your hands on, but until you actually have to parent, you have no idea what to do. When we brought our first child home, it took my husband and myself all night to figure out that it was a really bad idea to change our daughter on our bed. She would pee each time all over our bed, because of course we had no idea that maybe it would be better to change her on a towel! With each stage as your child grows, you grow too. You know what to do for you baby, then you know what to do for your toddler, then you know what to do for your elementary school child, then you know what to do for your young adolescent, and then....well..no..NO ONE knows what to do with their teenager! That is an art all it's own! Whew, it's a good thing we grow into parenting. I thought I knew a lot about my children, but I could tell you some stories about my kids as teenagers that would make your hair stand up!

The point is this. Evolve. Grow as a parent through each stage of your child's life. There will be different requirements for each and every stage. Be aware, be informed, be willing to grow and change and adapt to every new phase of your child's life.
Don't expect your child to act the same through each growth phase. Don't expect yourself to act the same or be the same through each of your child's growth phases. Be able to evolve and do what's necessary at each time. Do what the lovely young Mom did. She let her daughter grow, and in the process, she grew too. She evolved. She cried, but she evolved.

As my now 21 year old son told me the other day, "Mom, you and Dad are the Executive Producers." We are at the stage where our job is to provide the encouragement and resources to help him find his way professionally. He is a senior in college, ready to graduate, ready to begin making his own movies, ready to begin his own adult life.

Our job now is to evolve once again. Evolve into great cheerleaders. Cheering him onto his own. What a great feeling that is!

Until next time,