I’m sitting on my porch swing taking in the day I hope will never end. The sun is on its way down to slip behind the trees in an hour or two. The flowers are bright around me and a breeze is on my cheek. The birds are singing, the cattle are walking to a cool place for shade. Another Sunday gone, another week comes to an end. So predictable yet so different.
This week my oldest son is graduating. Up until now things have been routine. Days have been predictable like every season we’ve walked through. Today as he shared in church, he reminisced on things that have influenced him…...Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, the support he and his classmates have received in being part of a faith community.
“Being in a small town, there’s accountability. Because if you mess up, everyone knows,” he said. A doubled edged-sword in ways. My son declared it instrumental in helping him make choices growing up. There’s value in everyone knowing your name.
Today’s not quite the same as I sit on my front porch rocking to the low bellows of the hungry cows. In the routine of life, somewhere my boy became a man. A man who has surrounded himself with friends who hold him accountable. A man who has chosen to love God not because we said so, but because he has learned of His grace, faithfulness, and unconditional love. A man who began walking out of my life years ago as I realized I needed to release him to be the leader God has called Him to be.
This week we will celebrate, say good-bye, and let go.
Every mother releasing her son knows its different than releasing a daughter. Somewhere along the way your role changes as you step aside to let him grow and figure out who he is. There are times to step back so he can develop strength. Times where you have to be strong and push him into the storm so he can figure out how to survive, all the while watching with a life raft ready at a moment’s notice. Times where you must step back and let his father instruct and discipline. Times where you still touch his cheek with a kiss because he is still a little boy inside a man-size body. Times where the best words are, “I’m proud of you.”
This boy has been a big brother, his sister’s best friend, and a son who has held me accountable when my actions or words did not match what I believed. He has been the voice of reason when needed. In the ordinary and routine moments, he has grown into a man who is ready for the next step.
I believe raising kids for moments like these lie in the mundane and routine, in the moments we live when we think no one is watching. One thing this child and I know how to do is forgive, trust, and give second chances. Important moments for us have included the words, ” Will you forgive me?”
I have two more boys to raise in mundane moments. Six years from now, sitting on my porch swing, I will be saying good-bye to my last knight in the household. I’m reminded to not rush these days on or to close my eyes to what is ahead. Each child God gives us is one to be fully seen and known. They are kings and queens in the making, not for our glory, but for His.
I’ll shed lots of tears this week along with other moms and dads celebrating the milestone of graduation. I’m thankful for each tear of joy, sorrow, and sadness along the way. Each one a part of the process of releasing a child to fly, lead, and grow.
Don’t miss the moments each day. Let the wind blow on your cheek as the sun slips beyond the horizon. Read a book, sing a song. Let your boy dazzle you with his charm or your girl snuggle in your arms. Shed a tear, laugh out love, and kiss a cheek.
And let the mundane and routine bring blessing when the last goodbye is said.
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