Remember who you belong to
“Remember who you belong to” is the phrase I tell my teen every morning when she leaves for school, every time I drop her off somewhere and constantly through text throughout her daily travels.
I’m not sure when I picked it up, maybe it came from something I read in a devotional or from another blogger. But it has now become a part of our daily routine and affirmations that I have no intentions of changing it.
I do sometimes mix it up and yell “Make Good Decisions!” a la Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect just to embarrass her. I’m a mom, it’s the little things that bring me joy.
Going back to “remember who you belong to” has a multitude of meanings for my sweet girl and I’m positive I’ve drilled it home to her why I say this phrase.
My teen is unique. She has two sets of parents, five sets of grandparents, almost half a dozen younger siblings and an array of additional family members and close family friends who have become family to call her own.
Collectively we are her village. We are her biggest cheerleaders and her support system. She BELONGS to us. We will have her back no matter what fire she is facing. When she finally decides (‘cause teens <insert eye roll>) what her dreams are, her people will be behind her.
“Remember who you belong to” is a constant reminder that she BELONGS to something – a family – that is much bigger than the dilemmas of typical teenage life. A sense of belonging that I can only hope and pray will help quench her need feel truly loved instead of searching for love in questionable places.
“Remember who you belong to” means don’t forget that you have this litter of younger siblings who are watching your every move. The sun rises and sets with her, their big sister. Their eyes light up when she comes home from school or comes for the weekend. I know she didn’t ask for a fan club – but she has one. Perhaps being a role model wasn’t something she were ready for but that job is hers and I need her to remember to take it seriously.
Now I won’t lie, “remember who you belong to” is also a not so subtle way to remind her that we are always watching and that her behaviors reflect our parenting. We do not demand perfection from our children, perfection is unattainable. We do demand that our children are kind, polite and respectful. I’m so thankful we are raising our children in the small town we grew up in because there are always infinite sets of eyes on her – even when Mom is far away.
“Remember who you belong to” also holds another special meaning between me and my teen. It reminds her that even though I am her mother, her true Father in Heaven is ultimately the one who she belongs to. I can drill home manners and kindness until the end of time but, if she doesn’t remember that she herself is a walking, breathing vessel to show others the sweet grace of Jesus – then all my parenting attempts are completely in vain.
Lastly, and I cringe at the thought, but God forbid something should happen to either one of us after leaving a drop off – IF, just IF, “Remember who you belong to” happened to be the last words I spoke to her, my soul would be at peace.
But let’s not think about that because “remember who you belong to”, God’s got big plans for you and me both kid.
Dear Santa, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Anyone who wants to get me presents this year,
Over the past few weeks I have heard my mother on the phone telling you that I don’t need any presents this year. That is simply NOT TRUE. I greatly need things - ALL. THE. THINGS.
To start, I would like my own backpack. Like a real one like my Sissy has. It needs to have lots of pockets and zippers. These things bring me great joy. Also, please make sure it’s filled with plenty of little tiny things. I’m not sure what these things are but I really like playing with them, banging them together, pulling them in and out of the pockets and dumping them on the floor. I love the game my mom and I play when I do this. She always puts these little things back into the backpack for me to retrieve again.
I’d also like several of my own garbage cans. I really like the one we have in the kitchen, it has this neat lid that pops open and shut. The little ones are good too, they are more my size.
To go with my garbage cans, I need about 187 boxes of tissues that I can pull out one by one to put in my garbage cans. I like those brown thick paper tubes that I find in the garbage cans too. A box of tubes would make me elated. I also like the box of wrapped tube-y things my mom has next to her toilet. This is another fun game my mom and I play every day. I pull all these tube-y things out and scatter them all over the bathroom. My mom is really good at putting them back in the box for me to be able to dump them out again tomorrow.
My next request might be a little difficult but I’m hearing great things about this Santa guy – so here goes. I’d like to not have to wear socks. Like ever. They are of great hindrance to me and I really don’t understand why they must be worn. Can you help a baby out? My mom and dad are always telling my big brother to put his shoes on and this is a source of major disagreement. I sure hope I never get told that… whatever shoes are good for I’m not sure yet.
Since we are on the subject of intangible requests, it would be super cool if all the doors in my house could disappear. This is a source of deep frustration for me because I am well aware of all the wonderful things that live behind these dreadful ‘closed doors’. I would really like to have full access to all parts of my parent’s house at all times. I promise I won’t get myself into trouble. (wink, wink)
527 boxes of Cheerios.
The next thing on my list is my very own refrigerator. I am simply mesmerized by the one my mom has but she’s not very good at sharing it. If I had my own one, then I could open and close the doors whenever I wanted. That would be glorious.
A few days ago, my mom took me to a friend’s house. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY HAD!! They had this tiny door built right on my level – it was just my size! AND!!! It went straight outside. It was the coolest house I have ever been too. Can you imagine how great that would be to have one of these tiny doors in my own house?! I promise I would be the best baby on the planet if I had my own door like this. Pinky.
Speaking of which, I really like when things from outside come INSIDE my house. You know, things like leaves and lizards. Those tiny jumping things are cool too… what does Elmo say they are?... froggies!! Some of my favorite days have been when I have found lizards and those jumping things inside our house. Santa, could you just make sure there’s a constant parade of these things in my house throughout the year?
I’m sure you know my Uncle and Aunt gave me a bag of remotes for my birthday. A WHOLE BAG ALL TO MYSELF. It was the best present I got hands down, but truly – can you ever have enough remotes? I’d gladly take some more. I wouldn’t mind having my own keyboard too. It’s one of my mom’s favorite toys and I just don’t get enough time to play with hers. If I had my own maybe I would leave hers alone. HAHAHA Just kidding about that one.
Ok, that about covers my list. Thank you for your help in this matter and if none of these things are achievable, I would be equally happy with lots and lots of cardboard boxes. The possibilities of all the things I can do with boxes is endless.
Until Next Year,
*originally written and published in 2018
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