I had an amazing time with my family camping at El Capitan State Beach. We rode bikes, read, braved the rain, ate meals together, enjoyed the beach, tide pools, watching whales and dolphins and birds, and celebrated my 40th enjoying the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors.
Lots of people asked me if my 40th was significant to me in any specific ways. Oddly enough, I had my midlife crisis at 38 I think. So my 40th was not that mind warping. However, I did make a list of several things I want to do in my 40th year- a bucket list of sorts I suppose. While making that list I realized that in the next decade of my life, all my kids will become legal adults.
If I live to 50: TJ will be 24, Tyler will be 22, Jake will be 19, and Becky and Billy will be 30 days from turning 18 when I turn 50.
So, with this realization, I have officially declared this my DECADE OF PARENTING INTO ADULTHOOD.
I have no greater responsibility in the next 10 years and to that end, here's my game plan:
MEET ONE-ON-ONE WITH MY KIDS. As long as my sons and daughter live under my roof or within driving distance, I'll keep making it a priority to meet weekly with them one-on-one. Hands down it's been the best parenting move I've made to date.
PRAY RIDICULOUSLY HARD. I'm more committed than ever to praying for and with my kids. I know raising my teens into functioning adults is no walk in the park. I'm giving up before I get started and gonna cry out for Divine help and guidance constantly.
LEAVE NO VACATION DAYS FOR TOMORROW. I'm going to get away with my wife and kids every chance I get. I want to camp. Ride bikes. Enjoy the snow and the beach and the mountains and the rivers. Play pretty much anywhere I can afford to go. This season will be gone before I know it. I decided that I want zero vacation days on the books when I hit 50. I'm gonna exhaust all of them.
PASS THE BATON OF FAITH AND GET OUT OF THE WAY. My goal is to stop running my kid's lives in the next decade. I could write for days in this concept, but bottom line is that I'm going to consciously continue to give them the chance to process through the "why" questions of life. I want to do less for them and equip them to do more. My greatest goal is for them to mature into thinking, passionate, and intentional followers of Jesus who have an adult faith and life. Getting there is a maze I might not be able to navigate, but I'm firmly setting my sights there regardless.
LISTEN AND LEARN. I'm getting all the mentors around me I can find who have been there and done that. I have no misconception that somehow you can create a family by formula, but I'm going to do everything I can to learn from the victories and even the warnings and regrets of every parent I respect who is further down this road than I am.
So... to those who have been there and done that or are in the thick of this with me... anything you'd add to my list?