Friday, June 27, 2014

Growing Up Is Hard To Do (For Mama)

When I had smaller children, and only smaller children, people would look at me, half smile and say something like, "enjoy this time, they grow up so fast." I appreciate the gentleness in the little old ladies voices, the urgency to make the most of where we were at, I heard the hint of regret...but that didn't keep me from wanting to punch them.

And then it happened. My baby grew up.

We went from this...squalling child who smelled perpetually like sour milk...

To this...a grinning eleven year old who smells perpetually like stinky boy...

I blinked.

He's still a goofy, wild, childish boy who sneaks ice cream. But there are glimpses of the mature, responsible man he's becoming.

A couple of weeks ago he and I spent a week at Boy Scout Camp. It was a beautiful week. I learned a lot about knot tying and fire making...he did, too :) One activity he participated in was the Penguin Club. they met at the lake at 6 AM, and got in up to their shoulders for fifteen minutes. Doing that four out of the five days meant you earned a patch. None of the other boys went with him, so I got the pleasure of calling into his tent at 5:30, and walking him down to the lake. It wasn't too bad. We got to experience great mornings like this one. Yes, it was cold. Yes, that's the moon. But he did it. He got up at the sound of my voice, got himself ready for the day and made the plunge into the chilly lake for four straight days.

But I wasn't sure about that last day. The night before we had a late night and just when he was getting ready to head to his tent (about 10:45) they pulled out the s'mores. So back he came. I reminded him of the penguin club, told him if he wouldn't wake up when I called for him, it would not be my fault he didn't make it to his fourth day. And then I said no more. "This will be a learning experience," I thought. And I was the one who learned just who grown up and sweet my baby boy had become. He ate his s'more, I was chatting with other parents/leaders and he quietly came up beside me. "Mama, I'm going to bed now. This is for you." And he handed me one of the rectangles from his s'more. He had saved it to share with me. I got a little teary eyed.

There are days I wonder about this job we're doing as parents. Days I blow it and lose my temper, days I just don't care if they play on the ipad or watch movies all day. Days that I feel like we're doing everything wrong and screwing these kids up.

And then there are days that I believe that God is in control. That He loves them more than I do and will do anything for them. Days that I truly believe that because of Him and His love and grace they are firmly in His hand and will turn out ok. Days like the above that give me hope for the future and show me that they're already turning out just fine.

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