I recently came across the Huffington Post article titled “To My Daughter, At Halftime.”
While the author here is giving her 9-year-old child advice and wondering how the next nine years would go, it left me struggling for breath because my boy is nine today, and I’m kind of in disbelief.
Nine, as in halfway to eighteen.
Like all parents (I assume), after the shock of imagining my baby in college, I start to wonder:
Have I taught him enough? Did I read to him enough? Have I hugged him enough? Have I loved him enough? Have i prayed with him and for him enough? Have I shown him enough grace? Enough to sustain him when I’m not with him every second?
I’ve lost my temper, yelled when I should have explained calmly, lost patience when I’m interrupted, had too great of expectations since he’s the oldest, and once or twice may have even said, “go play or I’ll make you clean something!”
But one thing I do know for sure. I love that boy fiercely. My heart grew bigger the day he was born.
Sometimes the burden of motherhood seems like too much pressure to be perfect all the time, and I’m not even close.
I may never be “enough” for my kids, but God is. He’s there every step of the way, even when I can’t be with them. He loves them even more than I do. So I can choose to worry, or I can choose to trust.
When I asked him the other day how he wanted to celebrate, if he wanted a party with all his school friends, he simply said, “I want to go on a date with just you and me, Mom.”
I’ll take that while I can! Pretty soon he won’t want to be seen with me in public.
Pretty soon he will be listening to music I don’t understand and reading books I’ve never read and making me prouder than I ever thought possible and more disappointed than I ever thought he could.
He will have great joy and great heartache in these next nine years, and I’ll be there as much as he’ll let me. I’ll be learning even more about letting go and letting him spread his wings and fall on his face and take responsibility for himself, all while being close enough to guide him when he really needs it.
Although I’m still praying the the next nine years don’t pass by quite so quickly, it feels like kind of a big accomplishment that we’ve made it this far. I’m praying I can trust more and worry less.
Oooh were halfway there… and livin’ on a prayer.
*(We try once a month or so to spend time with each of our kids individually, and call it a “date” – I’ll explain more later!)