So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

My 15-year-old son has spent every second of his free time during this pandemic hanging out online, playing video games with his friends. He started by ranking up to the elite tiers of Apex Legends.

I am told this is quite a feat. Honestly, I believe it because it took him and his friend six hours a day for a week to rank that high.

After that came Sea of Thieves. He joined up with more friends and sailed the digital oceans until piracy lost its shine. Also, when two friends started arguing during the game.

Two nights ago, they made a plan to meet up as a big group on Fortnite. None of them really play Fortnite much anymore because the crowd is a little younger. But they didn’t want to work too hard at playing, they just wanted to hang out.

Last night, six of them met up again to hang out and play. They were goofing off, doing stupid teenager stuff, when they met a solo player named “JamMaster.”

Sometimes if they meet solo players that are pretty “chill,” they’ll join forces. JamMaster seemed pretty young, but he was by himself, and they were having fun showing him what they knew about the game. They invited him to join their crew.

Pretty soon they discovered that their first impressions were correct. JamMaster was much younger than they were—only 10 years old. They also discovered that it was his birthday in the morning.

The boys realized that JamMaster had been hanging out by himself all night, on the eve of his 11th birthday, which he would be spending by himself in quarantine.

CLEARLY SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.

Y’all, they threw him an 11th birthday party.

They took him on a bunch of adventures, gave him all the loot they could, helped him win a few battles, and made him stay up until midnight so they could all sing happy birthday to him.

This morning, as my son told me about their adventures and all the fun they had, I started to cry. I was trying to say something like “Oh that’s so nice,” but tears just started spilling down my cheeks. He could not understand why.

BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE?

The disappointment of being quarantined for your 11th birthday only to be met by a random six-pack of teenage gamers who decide you’re awesome and want to throw you a birthday party?

What a roller coaster. What an experience. What an incredible thing to do for a young gamer.

In conclusion: video games, heck yeah.

 

Tiffany Pitts

Tiffany Pitts is an award-winning author of speculative fiction. She’s also a freelance travel writer focusing on the strangest places she can get her family to visit. As a native of the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys dogs, rain, and camping with her kids.

God Bless the Middle School Teachers Who Love Our Tweens and Teens

In: Kids, Teen, Tween
Middle school students smiling

I keep seeing articles about kindergartners heading off to school for the first time, and parents are feeling all the things kindergarten parents feel. I’ve been a middle school teacher for my entire career, and I know for sure that middle school parents are feeling all the feelings too. We teachers are ready to receive your babies in middle school too. In our neck of the woods, middle school starts in sixth grade. Fifth graders were at the top of the pyramid in elementary school, but they arrive in middle school as the little ones. In the eyes of the...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

Dear Sons, as You Become Men

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and two sons, black-and-white photo

Boys, you are currently 12 and almost 10 years of age. This world in which you find yourselves growing up is much different than the one I maneuvered years ago. There are many things I want you to know. These are just a few . . . Always be kind.  To each other, to yourselves, to your family and friends, even to your enemies. Do not let others abuse and disrespect you. But always start with kindness and hopefully there will be no reason to migrate toward another action. Kindness breeds kindness. Always be kind.  Life is full of victory...

Keep Reading

Where Is the Instruction Manual for Parenting Grown Children?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Two teen boys dressed in suits, color photo

You know what’s really hard? Parenting. You know what’s even harder? Parenting a child who isn’t a child anymore. My husband and I have leveled up.  High school graduation has been a major event in our house for the last two years. It’s an exciting time and a great chance to celebrate the accomplishments of each of our boys individually.  That being said, this level isn’t something you can mentally prepare for. It’s just so much. So much of everything. Exhausting. Gut-wrenching. Exciting. Confusing. Rewarding. Bittersweet.  My son graduated last year, and my bonus son graduated this year. I’m equally proud...

Keep Reading

The Little Boy You Knew is Gone, But What Comes Next is Beautiful Too

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
tween boy

Listen, you guys . . .  That thing they always warn you about? It happens. The little boy with the dimples and the wide smile. The one who begged you to play LEGOs for hours and always said he wanted to marry YOU when he grew up. That little love of your life . . .  Suddenly, you’ll blink and he’ll be turning 12 next week. A full-blown tween. A pre-teen. Practically a teenager. And before you know what is happening, he’ll be obnoxious and run his sassy mouth and roll his eyes and pick fights with his siblings as...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I Fight For My Child in Prayer

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman praying

The sound of the screen door slamming shut inches from my face took my breath away. He hesitated for a moment, glaring back at me through the pollen-stained glass window that separated us. He would never admit it, but I knew he was checking to ensure the door did not hit me. He didn’t know how badly I needed that momentary glimpse of my sweet and loving son.  It seemed like just yesterday when I stood in front of the elementary school entrance doors with two tiny arms wrapped around my legs. The little red-haired boy with blue eyes who...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Be a Mom of Teens, but I’m Learning

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in ocean

I’m a card-carrying baby person. You know the type—the kind of mom who turns into a cooing heap of melty-hearted goo whenever a baby comes into view. I love them when they’re tiny and helpless, when their necks are floppy and their limbs are jelly. I love the way their eyes are deep and knowing and how their heads smell so sweet and fit just right under my chin.  “Give me all the babies,” is a phrase on regular rotation in my vocabulary, and I truly mean it. It’s probably why, at pushing 40, my husband and I just had...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are Teens, but I’m Still a Mom—Please Don’t Forget Me

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mom looking at teen daughter

My kids are teenagers, but I’m still a mom. There are no more diapers to change or sippy cups to fill, but I’m still a mom. My kids can feed themselves and pick out their own clothes (even buy them), but I’m still a mom. There are no more boo-boos to kiss and make better and no more lullabies to sing at night, but I’m still a mom. My kids are teenagers—one is a full-blown, 18-year-old adult—but I’m still a mom. We gush over new moms with snuggly newborns, cooing babies, squishy toddlers, and rambunctious 6- and 7-year-olds. We say...

Keep Reading

I’ll Take Every Hug I Can Get, My Son

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Tween boy on beach

As another school year closes, I’m once again struck by an ethereal sense of being punched in the gut. We have fewer summers left together than summers spent. And you’d much rather spend those with your friends than with your mother. I’m prepping for the daily, “Can I have friends over?” and the daily, “Of course!” because as much as I’d like to say no and go on a hike or to the pool together, this time is for you—to spend with those friends making mistakes and learning about life. It’s been said from the moment you made me Mom:...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.