Years ago, the Italian Mama told me to do much less work when my children became teenagers. We were walking around the neighborhood, and she said:
“You’ll think you’ll have all this time when they’re teens. But you won’t. They need you more. And you won’t know when they’ll need you. So you just have to be ready for when they want to talk.”
And she was ready. She put out the snacks and listened to her teen boys. Now, one is in college and the other nearly there.
I thought of the Italian Mama as my daughter arrives home from middle school. I tell her to give me just ten minutes while I wrap up an email.
“But I have so much to tell you!”
“I’ll be right there!”
I finally emerge, ready to debrief the day with her, and she’s silent as a stone. She explains that she needed to talk then and not now.
“The window of time has closed?” I ask. “That quickly?”
(And last night, at 11:00 PM, the oldest wants to talk.
“Now?” I ask.
The Italian Mama, as usual, was correct. I remember the precious and often small windows of time when these girls want to talk as teens.
I pray I’m there. Today I missed a window, but I’m hanging around for the next one to open.