By Guest Blogger Glynis Bell

All the lights on in the house; Dishes in the sink; Empty containers left in the fridge; Strange noises that could be music; Last minute request for money and permission…hmmm, sounds like teenagers in the house!

I would just happen to have two of those by definition, and they live in my house.

Let me travel back down memory lane for a moment back when they were little. I remember one epic event that forever changed that way that I was prepared with kids. I was a Mary Kay Consultant at the time and one of my MK team members had just qualified for her free MK car. On this day, I remember not feeling my best, but wanted to support her. I told my husband, that we could go and stop by the event , but we won’t be gone but a very short time, so we won’t need to pack a bottle and all the things that would normally pack for a baby outing. Well on this particular evening, I listening to that mother sense that said “take it anyway” and I am SO glad I did. We experienced a tornado that evening that caused us to detour and spend some time at a mall with other mall goers that we also caught in the storm. If I hadn’t listened to my parental instinct and packed the bag, then, the outcome of our quick trip out would have been so much different. We ended up being stuck at the Marketplace Mall on Peters Creek Parkway in a tornado that actually touched down in Clemmons, causing lots of damage. I learned a valued lesson that day as a mom, ALWAYS be prepared!

As they got older, I used to get excited about not having to pack the entire contents of the car when traveling a few miles down the road or a few states away! And then it was the phase of not having to switch car seats around or needing an extra change of clothes in the glove compartment. But with the graduation from each of those childhood stages comes worry – especially when the double digit years set in. And in turn, there is no shortage of activities from school to social and beyond on the family calendar.

I do my fair share of (make that a lot) of fussing about things that don’t get done around the house but I have also come to appreciate some of the challenges. I breathe a bit easier knowing that lights on and messy rooms, last minute projects and last minute money matters are also a sign of life. I think of the many parents who have lost children too soon that would switch places with me in a heartbeat to fuss about a bad grade or a messy room!

My son is a freshman in college and my daughter is a Jr. in high school. My daughter wanted to turn his room into a dance studio when he left for school. I can say that I miss the need for parental advice and hugs that my kids have not needed as much of as they become more independent. But I always let them know that I am here for them and love them always.

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