Happy Birthday

My younger two kids love it when I mention them in my blogs. My older two… not as much. My younger two see me typing at the computer and rush over to see if I am writing about them. I think my older two just hope I’m not. Alas, since this blog is pretty much about things I am dealing with, and since two of the things I deal with are them… occasionally they are in it. Like now.

Today my second son, Ryan, turns sixteen. So “Happy Birthday” to Ryan. I’m not really sure what all I was doing while he managed to make it this far, time seems to have flown by, but I hope it was good parenting stuff.

Lots of my friends, like me, have kids that are learning to drive or are graduating high school. Some have kids graduating college… those friends started the baby making process a bit earlier than me. Without fail, when I see prom pictures or graduation pictures posted on Facebook, the caption moms post is “Where did the time go?”

As moms, we work so hard in the raising of our kids that when we reach the end of that course, we look up from our busy-ness and are shocked to see young adults standing in front of us.

When did they grow up? We wonder.

How did this happen? We ask.

But I’m not ready for this! We exclaim.

The question we should be asking is, “Are THEY ready for this?”

“Did we do our jobs as parents?” is also a good question. Hopefully the answer to both is a resounding “Yes!”

Very recently my husband made the comment of our oldest son, “Our job with him is pretty much done.” That statement took me a little by surprise. But then I decided, like it or not, he’s actually right. We’ve done all we can to instill good values, the ability to make good choices, and a good sense of self. We’ve shown him how to follow after God and to trust Him in all things.

We’ll be moving into a different role with him now. We’ll still be here for him. Always. I’m still Mom, and dad’s still Dad. But it’s time for him to step out a little. Test the waters in this world we live in. He’ll have to see if all we taught him really works in the real world.

Honestly, I have loved every stage our kids have gone through. Well, there are a few days of puberty I can recall that weren’t all that much fun… and then I still remember many nights of not enough sleep when they insisted they had to eat every three hours as infants, yet otherwise I’ve loved it all. I didn’t really have a favorite age or stage.

Until now.

I know most moms face kids growing up and out with some apprehension. Me, too. But my heart is filled with excitement for all God has for my kids as they each, in turn, grow up and out from under my wings. I wasn’t sure I would have this excitement. Instead I was quite certain I would be filled with dread. Yet, surprisingly I am not filled at all with dread.

Instead, what I feel is joy. There’s a heaping amount of anticipation there, too. I have trusted my kids to the Lord, and I have not yet been disappointed. They have so much more of a sense of who God is and who they are in Christ than I did at their ages. The world is a hard place, and I would be so afraid for them if they didn’t have this knowledge. It won’t make the world any less challenging, but knowing and loving the Father will give them a better opportunity to live above the chaos in the world.

My sixteen-year-old has his first job, and my husband is amazed at how “grown up” he’s behaving about it. He’s really taking it all very seriously. It’s been great to see. He’s so much like his dad.

We understand that he, and our other kids, will still mess some things up, make some mistakes. The potential is still there for them to make some whoppers. And as their parents, we’ll still be there for them to help them sort it all out, but I have high hopes for all of them. And I am looking forward to seeing all that God is going to do in their lives.

I’m actually enjoying having a front row seat in watching my kids become. It’s odd, but I am just as excited, if not more so, to see what God will do in and through them as I am to see what He’s doing in my life. Odd thing, this motherhood gig…

So what do you think?

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