I’ve been a bit on the mopey side lately…wanting to spend as much time with my son as possible. “Mom, can I play on your computer?” “Yes,” I say, knowing that he’ll be close enough for me to sneak glances at from time to time without being so obvious. “Mom, do you wanna watch our favorite show now.” “Yep, I’d love to,” as he settles in next to me on the couch. Today marks a new chapter in my son’s life. Today my boy is officially a high school freshman and I’m blown away! Where did that time go? I recall being told when he was a baby to enjoy the time with him because it goes by so fast. How true!
It was quite clear to me that parenting entailed a series of separations and I anticipated the possibility of pain. That separation began in the delivery room and I have been “painfully” aware of it ever since. I was surprised at how sad I was when I brought him home from the hospital. For nine months we had shared a secret while he grew inside of me and now that we had become separated, I had to share him. Then came the time when he was around 10 months old when he decided that he no longer wanted to be trapped beneath my shirt for a drink. He traded me in for plastic. I was broken hearted when I dropped him off at preschool because the arms that comforted him throughout the day would no longer be mine. I’ve watched him slowly become independent and while I celebrate his budding independence, I’m missing my little boy.
My boy…my miracle child, has been the sweetest, most tender gift from God. I fell in love the day it was announced, after my first ultrasound, that “this pregnancy is happening.” From day one, I’ve been super aware that I would be raising someone’s husband, so I’ve been diligent about teaching him what girls like…be a gentleman; ladies first; open doors for them; smell nice; dress sharp; r.e.s.p.e.c.t.; leave room for the Holy Ghost when you dance (hehe); honor your parents; love and serve the Lord…oh, and “the girls love the curls, son!” I’ve also told him that “everyone starts dating at around 25. That’s the cool thing to do!!” 🙂 On his school field trips, he always thinks of me in the gift shop and brings me home a trinket (and one for his sissy too); he compliments me constantly (for free…doesn’t cost me a thing:); he still holds my hand in public; makes a perfect cup of coffee and assumes the role of the man of the house when my honey goes out of town. Recently, I’ve started teaching him how to cook and he has expressed an interest in learning how to wash clothes. During those times that I’m stealing glances, I think about his wife (the one I’m praying for all the time) and I think about how blessed she will be.
And so the separation continues and as he begins this next chapter…. high school….that hormonal cesspool, I’m anticipating the dating thing and I REALLY need to get before the Lord since I’m thinking the dating at 25 deal ain’t gonna fly. Long ago I heard a great answer to the dating question given by the oldest child of that Duggar family…the one with 20 kids. When asked why he chose not to date, he felt that when one dates, they give a little piece of their heart to each person and he wanted to give his entire heart to one. I’ve passed that little dittie on to my kids. Another time, we were stopped at a light coming home from elementary school and we saw a couple of kids making out and my kids’ eyes were locked on them. I said, “you see those kids there…chances are they will not be together long enough to marry. He is kissing and caressing someone else’s wife and she’s making out with someone else’s husband.” I’ve encouraged them to respect themselves…save themselves for their husband/wife. I’ve pointed out that they can always be like “the crowd,” and dabble in marriage-type behavior; however, if they choose to remain pure, the “crowd” that has chosen that behavior can’t be like them. Whew…what a tightrope we walk in this area..trying to walk the line, make the right choices, trying not to blend in in a world where everything is permissible. The challenge for me remains in the angst felt by my kids when they are not allowed to run with the crowd…and so I remain prayerful that their appetites will be for those things that are pleasing to the Lord and beneficial to them; that they remain rooted and grounded in the Word; that they not be tossed and turned by the philosophies and doctrine of man, as dad and I keep watch over them as best we could, teaching them as much as we are able and trusting God to cover them better than we could ever cover them.
Today I released my boy into the next part of his journey into manhood. He left this morning fed and watered with expectation written all over him. Dad and I prayed over him, and with a kiss and a wave he was off. I did good…Dad, not so much. He called me from the drop off area sounding pretty weepy, blown away at how fast time has gone…