I rounded the corner into the kitchen and heard my husband's voice.
It was the morning hustle. He was pouring milk glasses out at the counter. I was charging up school laptops and packing backpacks. The kids were eating breakfast, looking for that missing sweatshirt, and making faces at any attempt to smooth out their hair.
It was one of those cracks in the day, a little crevice of time between all the color coded commitments on the family calendar.
And my husband's calm voice and careful words came into focus.
"You get to choose. Every single one of us have moments when our emotions get big. When we feel angry or frustrated. When someone treats us poorly, and we can feel that righteous 'I can't believe they did that' explosion bubbling up. We all have all the emotions. And we also all have a choice, how are we going to react to them. Are we going to let those emotions control us? Are we going to pour gasoline on the situation? Are we going to look a little deeper and try to read the under layers? Are we going to initiate a conversation, or a shouting match? We get to chose. And we're responsible for that choice."
Phew. It was a lot. All that while pouring out milk.
Because apparently, someone had borrowed something of someone else's. It broke. And the first someone was mad. Really mad. There had been yelling. There had been yelling back. The whole thing.
And here we were in this little crack of the day, doling out life's big lessons.
It dawned on me that we've hit that stage of parenting where the kids are inching closer to grown at light-speed, combined with this inner tug of 'but wait, there's so much more to teach you!'
Our twins entered this fabled season of life last summer. And while they're still on the younger side of it at 13, it felt a little like jumping right off the dock by having two enter the teen years at once.
Pretty quickly I've learned that life with teenagers is busy. It's like a buffet of life they're eagerly signing up for and trying everything out. Between school, and after school activities, and sports, and music, and friends, and homework, and, and, and... we're often left with the cracks.
Cracks of time, paired with some of the highest stakes, sweaty palms, level of parenting required of us so far.
And I couldn't help but think of all the "big" conversations we've had lately driving in the car to practice. Or chats about best effort that pop up while leaning over the table to help with homework. Or making dinner and coaching them to communicate with a teacher. Or going to say goodnight but sitting and lingering at the end of their bed, listening to and helping them process what's on their heart.
Cracks. Cracks of the day.
Yes, maybe that's mostly what we get now in their teenhood.
But those cracks are ours. And we're filling them in.