It’s that time again.
Lunches are packed, carpools have begun and it’s the beginning of the year where we mark that next step of growth in our child’s life. (Some of us have a marked up wall in our home to prove it).
And whether you’re involved in potty training, packing for college, or any of the multiple rites of passage in between, most of us can say without hesitation that our greatest desire is to see our children grow.
So what will that mean for us?
Depending on what stage of parenting we’re in, more than likely it means having to say a few no’s. Maybe even a tiny bit more than a few. Like the first time they run into the street. Or stumble on to Grand Theft Auto to refine their skills (?) at stealing cars and shooting people. A no may come when they get invited to their first keg party with no parents. Or when they get asked out by someone five years older who sports several tattoos and drives a Harley.
Some no’s are easy.
Others are more painful.
When our no makes our child feel we don’t love him, it’s a painful no. We muster up the strength to stand by it. But we carry our child’s ache.
Perhaps it’s a small window to the way God feels about us.
The longer we go on our faith journey, the more we realize that God allows discomfort for a purpose, and often orchestrates life in a way that is different from what we wanted or planned. Yet when we look back, we see that the “God of the rear view mirror” had more wisdom than we originally thought.
Sounds a bit like parenting.
I still remember as a teenager rolling my eyes and thinking how little my mom knew about life.
I was surprised how much she learned when I got to college.
I grew up.
And our son will too.
Along the way he may not understand why we say no, or withhold certain things, or do things the way we do. But we’re banking on the perspective he’ll have when he looks back.
As we enter sixth grade in the Short household, I’m terrified to say I’ve already seen a girl’s name written on my “little” boy’s hand, and have officially graduated from kissing him goodbye in the carpool line to kissing him goodbye in the garage before we leave for school.
But I’ll take those kisses any way they come.
I’m fully prepared that there may be seasons when there are no kisses.
When my husband and I will need to trade the affection he feels for us in the moment, for the growth he’ll experience for his future.
My prayer is that we’ll love him enough to do it.
And turn to the way God loves us to show us how.