Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering

Thirteen: Aspects of Thirteen

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—THIRTEEN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


I had told myself I wasn’t going to write tonight. It’s been . . . a week. Hard. Stretching. Wearying. Wrecking in some ways. 

But I see this word and the first thing that came to mind was my youngest. My thirteen year old. Who can count the days on two hands until he is no longer thirteen. 

He brings laughter and joy. He’s learning how to express his heart and his mind in such amazing, honest ways. He blesses me with his smile and humor.

He drives me crazy with his constant comebacks. He is the one teaching me I don’t always have to have the final word. 

Though there are times I want that final word.

It’s amazing to think that thirteen Augusts ago, God saw fit to add this boy to our family. He’s special and tender and amazing and tough and resilient and gentle with animals and hard-hitting in football.

He’s a lover and loyal and funny and helpful.

He’s thirteen.

I always worried that thirteen year old boys would drive me to the edge of crazy. 

Okay, there may be days when he’s done that. 

But there have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling with something he said or did.

I love watching him discover his passions and his interests and his strengths. 

I love thirteen. I love being a mom to teenage boys. 

I know fourteen will hold its own special challenges, but for these few days left of thirteen, I’m going to enjoy it. Laugh with him. Engage with him.

Thirteen sounds scary when your kids are little. But now that we’re almost through the thirteenth year? I’m going to miss it. Just a little. 

And I’m going to thank God for all the things He’s taught my boy and me during this thirteenth year.

What about you? What blessings have/did you find when your children walked through the teen years? What has God taught you through your own teen years, or your children’s?

Click to tweet: There have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Thirteen

17 thoughts on “Thirteen: Aspects of Thirteen”

    1. Awww, Barbie, I’m glad you stopped by. Yes, 13 year old boys are soooo fun. 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll stop by your place a little later on. 🙂


  1. I just gained a 13 year old and he is a hoot to spend time with. I am so blessed by this tender hearted young man. Sounds like you are too! 🙂


    1. Andrew, I’m sure you were a handful in your teens. 😉 But look what God formed you into? Somehow, I get the feeling you always marched to your own drummer. And God has used your experiences to transform you into the encouraging person you are today. 🙂


  2. oh these guys are so cute! Enjoy every minute … before you know it, they’ll be 23 … 33 … 43. The time passes in just a few blinks.

    bless you as you mother, Jeanne …



  3. This is so lovely. I often fear the teenage years, as mine are a handful at the current ages of 9, 6 and almost 3. But you make me look forward to those years with hope.


    1. Bethany, I feared the teenage years when ours were little. Some days, I still fear them. 🙂 But, I’ve found that God equips us in the dailiness of raising our children. He uses those younger years to prepare us for the teen years. They are a handful, but they are amazing people as they grow. And test. And mature. 🙂


  4. Love your encouragement that teenage parenting it GOOD! I love the photo of your two sons! Where was that taken? Hawaii? I appreciate your words as a mom and FMF writer. Visiting from FMF…your smiley profile drew me in!


    1. Parenting teens is good. It’s hard, but when the relationship is built on a foundation of connection in their younger years, it makes the parenting during some of the hard teen seasons a little richer, if that makes sense. Yes, the pic of our sons was taken in Hawaii. We have family there. I’m so glad you stopped by!


  5. Love this Jeanne! Pausing to appreciate the seasons of our kids allows us to see how God is shaping them and just be present with it. My oldest is twenty and my middle is eighteen. I’m learning how to parent this new stage. More independence but they still need you.


    1. Stephanie, you would know. 🙂 I have found (as I suspect you have) that we walk through many seasons as parents. As our children grow, so do we, right? I have to remember on the hard days that God is shaping them and it’s not all up to me. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, friend.


  6. Thank you, Jeanne, for this sweet balance of explaining the ebbs and flows of raising a 13-year-old boy. I have one myself and he’s my first born and I feel the same way as you said: “And I’m going to thank God for all the things He’s taught my boy and me during this thirteenth year.” This is the heartbeat of the adolescent years- not yet a man, no longer a boy. It’s amazing to see the transformation in their intellect, their heart, and soul. I am so glad we share this in common as we need more of the Lord to guide us through this precarious time in their lives, without hindering the process… hard to do. Love your words.


    1. Erendira, I imagine we are in some similar situations with our thirteen year olds. 🙂 And yes, they aren’t really boys anymore. I am reminding myself that, and starting to refer to both of our boys as boy-men. 🙂 And no question about it, we DO need more of the Lord to guide us through these years. I’m blessed you stopped by.


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