Thursday, June 5, 2014

The thing about my son's graduation is....

Isaac just graduated from high school, and I feel a certain kind of way about that.  However, I can't really pinpoint what way it is that I feel.  Mostly I feel inadequate.

Don't get me wrong, I try to be a good Mom.  I strive to be a great Mom on occasion, but I still feel like my parenting is unfinished, lacking, and incomplete.  It becomes painfully clear HOW many ways I am failing when it comes to my child graduating.

I remember being pregnant with Isaac, and giving birth to him.  He's my 3rd son, so I knew how to care for a baby.  I was completely capable of changing his diapers and singing to him, feeding him and reading to him.  I just loved him (still do!)  And it wasn't too long before he got a little sister, then another, and a brother, and another sister. I wasn't really thinking too hard about raising my toddlers, I just tried to help them become kind and compassionate people.  No hitting, don't spit, don't pee on other people's stuff, you know, the basics.

From the moment of his birth, Isaac has been busy! He moved fast!  To this day, he thinks fast, he writes long detailed scenarios in his mind then plays them out with swords and sticks and heroes and bad guys. He remembers EVERYTHING he reads.  He's a big hugger, and doesn't stop hugging until he hears bones crack. (Which really helps his wrestling career.)  His childhood was a whirlwind of stories and stitches and amazing adventures! He is a fantastic guy who works hard to overcome life's challenges, and to make the world around him a more loving place.  He's the guy that makes others feel welcome and safe.

And I am his inadequate mother.

It happens every time one of mine gets ready to go off into the big wide world.  The questions arise.  Did I teach him all he needs to know?  I meant to teach him how to iron. Have I been too soft on him?  Too hard?  He's so caring and so trusting!  Have I made him an easy mark?  Should I have prepared him better for a cruel world? Is it my shortcoming to let him believe in people and trust them?  The realization that I can't protect him is overwhelming! Have I taught him how to demand that his dates treat him with respect?  Would he know what to do if she doesn't?  Will he be taken advantage of? Did we ever talk about how to handle money?  Will his heart get broken?  Will he always be my little baby?  Will I always be able to see that little boy in the Super Isaac Man costume in his eyes?  Will he be okay without me?

He will.

I can't stop him from making mistakes and bad judgements. I can't go everywhere with him and make him do his homework and be responsible and turn in his time sheet and brush his teeth.  I can only be here for him and love him.  I can nag him and be his Mom, like I always have, and be supportive.  Since I truly love him, I can let him fail.  And when he does, it will hurt, but I can wait by patiently, praying like a monk in a monastery, waiting for him to come around.  I may be inadequate, but I can pray.  

I can pray he won't make monumentally bad life-destroying choices.  I can pray he won't enjoy drinking so much that he spends his life locked in a bottle. I can pray that he gets so busy enjoying life that he doesn't have time to discover the pain of addiction.  I can pray and pray and pray that in all of those ways that I have been completely inadequate at meeting his needs JESUS will be there to fill in the gap.  I can pray that he will seek his Creator's input in the choices he makes and the directions he goes.  I'll also pray that I can accept whatever that path may be, and that it's not MY path to choose for him.  It never was!  I can pray that he be filled with the Holy Spirit, and that he never loses his trust in people, even when a few let him down.  I pray that he will always be exactly who he is.  Nothing less than God's very own child!

I pray he knows this.

If I have taught him this, he has everything he needs.            


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