Every bad day has some good in it if you look.  One day while we were still in the hospital this week, the boys came so we could have lunch together.  I love this open space to enjoy some time together, and they love this open space to run and play.   

Follow me on!

One Shoelace at a Time

My little guy (the one more like me than I usually admit) went to his first day of 3rd grade with different colored shoe laces in each shoe, and no one walking him to class.  “Mom, I’m not five” is exactly what he said.  I hadn’t made a comment about the laces, because what do I know about cool?  But not walking my son in and taking a photo of him in front of his desk?  Come on!  You can’t really expect a mom to be okay with that.

Watching him walk away

But we must.

We must let them grow, giving them independence in safe and healthy ways.  We must let them be their own person, not a miniature version of us (though its scary just how much like us they are).  Even when they make decisions that cause them pain.  We guide, we love, we teach through it all, but we must let them find their way.

I know more and more about how my parents felt as they raised us, but especially as they still loved and guided Austin towards the end of his time with us.  Like what I did with him as a sister, wanting the best for him, but knowing he had to choose his own way, no matter how much pain it brought him or us. 

I think that God must feel something like this.  Giving us the tools, love and support we need and knowing that he could choose our way.  But He lets us.  He loves us enough to want us to come to Him out of our own will, not because he forces it. 

So I let go, just one shoelace and walk at a time, so that one day Drew is able to make his own wise choices.  But I think like today, I’ll always be watching closely with my heart in my throat.

**I have to add in here that I have some wonderful friends that demonstrate this all the time and just a few days ago discussed this very topic.  It helped me today as I watched him go, so thank you dear friends!

How Many Days to Raise a Boy?

Yesterday I was relaxing and holding my sweet precocious little guy while he slept and thinking about how fast the days are flying by us.  It seems like just yesterday we were planning for his arrival.  Now we’re chasing him while he laughs, pulling him off of high places he shouldn’t be, and sometimes taking a golf club to the shin in all the fun.  And if it seems that the past 19 months have flown by, I look at Drew and can hardly believe that 8 years have gone by.  But yet I can’t remember life before him. 

Then I realize, we’re almost half way through the years of Drew at home.  We’ve already had the biggest impact we will on his personality, esteem, values and learning.  From here on we’re reinforcing what we’ve taught, intentionally or not.  We’re closer to the start of this journey with Ben, and I was just thinking that I’m glad for more days to mother and love on him, glad that we’re not so near the finish.

My boys and I recently

But I started debating how many years it would be before they were ‘raised’.  Is it 18 when they’re legally adults, or 21 or so when they finish school (I hope) or when they’re married and on their own, or…?  Maybe it’s none of those.  Maybe a parent’s job is never quite done, because when do you stop needing loving guidance of someone who loves you more than themselves?

Often when a missing person is an adult, the heartbreak and urgency is lost on those not close to them.  But to those that love them, they don’t need us any less.  They may need us less in the physical sense, but that’s far from everything.

No matter how old our kids get, we still are teaching them, guiding them, loving on them.  We’re still pulling them away from danger when we can, and hurting when they hurt.  We’re still getting hit in the shin so to speak at times.  And we’re thinking we wouldn’t trade it for anything, hurts and all.  The older my boys get, the more I understand the mothers who will never give up.  The more I understand that their age has nothing to do with it.  I think that is part of God’s plan too.  He didn’t tell us to honor our parents when we’re young, but our whole lives.  A parents love is the closest thing we have here on earth to His love.  It never ends.

So how long to raise a boy?  I don’t think I’ll ever be done to find out.