Sons Part II

Have seen many moms lately posting on Facebook about taking their sons to college and how difficult it is.  I also have several friends that are in the same boat.  In my humble opinion the reason it hurts so darn much is that we realize they are growing up and that this is just the beginning of them leaving home.  

We wonder, did we _________ enough?  There are so many “did I” questions in our hearts that leave us wondering if we taught them everything they need to know to go out and face the big bad world out there.  I used to feel that our purpose as parents is to take care of our children & provide for them.  But I think that is only part of it.  Our job is to raise them, teach them & prepare them so that they can become men who can go out and take care of themselves.  To be able to provide for their own family someday.  That is what we should wish for our sons.  Not that they become rich or famous or whatever.  But that they find the wife God has for them & become Godly husbands & fathers.  

Each child is so different, no two are alike.  In my case, none of the four are alike.  Actually it would have been so boring if they had been.   I have caught myself  using the phrase  “I raised you all the same” when something does not go along with the “Plan”  of their life (whatever that looks like).  But that is not possible.  Because they are all so different, they can’t possibly have all been raised the same.  Hopefully things were consistent among them, but no guarantees on that either.  As parents we change too, we are older & wiser (hopefully) and we change and learn different and better parenting methods and skills with each child.  It is actually a miracle that ANY of them turn out decent.  

There have been people in my sons lives who have made a difference.  One in particular that I am thinking of really had an impact on my second son, and then on my third and fourth.  My second son is a bit of an introvert (he says he is an INTJ, for those of you who know what that is).  He was one that would be with a group, but was usually in the back trying to hide.  Or when he started photography, conveniently volunteered to take pictures so as to not be in them.  He found many creative ways to be there without being there.  Then came along a youth pastor who went after him, pursuing him.  And was able to break through to him.  I know that he made a big impact on his life.  Even though the youth pastor moved, we still stay in touch with him and his beautiful wife.  He even renewed our vows for us for our 25th Anniversary.  Now they are about to have a baby boy of their own.  I know they will both make wonderful parents.  But I am sure they both are a bit apprehensive about what is to come.  They have the foundation though with Christ that they will be fine.  No it won’t be easy sometimes, but I have seen how he pursues & loves my children and other people’s children, so I know he will love his even more.  

I wanted to tell you a little more about my wonderful INTJ son.  He will be 21 in a few weeks and he is growing and maturing.  For some reason the “world” has decided that there is a track that all young people should follow.  Graduate HS, go to College, career, wife, family, etc….  But if every child is different, which we have already established that they are, why is there this track that they should all follow?  It is OKAY for them not to follow this track, and we need to let them know that.  Each child has their own path, their own path God has laid out for them.  And if it takes them a bit longer or they go off the path a bit, then that is OKAY!  But I am so proud of the progress Stuart has made.  One of my favorite things about him is that he has an exceptional eye for photography.  He started back in HS and has continued to amaze me.  It’s not that the subject is anything spectacular, but it is just his eye and how he sees it.  Making for some really extraordinary photographs.  Wish I could share them all with you, but I can’t.  Enjoy them and while you are at, take a deep breath, thank God for your children, for who your children are and who God is molding them into.  Give yourself a break when you mess up, and just love them.  And yes, it is very difficult letting them go.  But we know Who is holding them.

Sons

Listening to the news the past few days it is all about the Royal Birth.  The new baby boy of Prince William and Kate.  It is an exciting time for a new mother, but there is a lot of fear that comes along with it as well.  I know we are not to fear, and that fear is a tactic of our enemy, but if a new mom is not a little scared then they are probably not being honest.

Raising sons is not clean.  Yes, my boys have peed off the front porch.  And the back porch too.

They pour a large glass of milk.  Drink half of it, then leave the rest sitting on the table.

You tell them for the Nth time to _______________ (fill in the blank with millions of options: Take out the trash, brush their teeth or hair, unload the  dishwasher, etc.)

You give them advice like “Stay away from girls, they are bad” and “Minimum age for marriage is 25”, hoping they do not get their hearts broken and have the best possible advantage on life when they make a lifelong commitment.

When you talk to them about respecting girls and themselves, you get the “I Know Mom”.  But you tell them again anyway for good measure.

You pray for them to be respectful and a leader, a good husband and father.

But there is a lot of heartache in being a Mom of sons too.  Things that I did not realize would hurt my heart so much.

When you have to leave your son in a hospital in the care of someone else.

Sitting up with a toddler all night with croup.

Seeing them off to Kindergarten on the first day of school.

Driving.

Dating. UGH.

Graduating.

Getting married.  No one ever told me how much that hurt.  Letting a son go, even though you know in your heart that he is with someone who loves him and will take care of him, it is hard letting go.  You have spent your life taking care of him until now, and now you have to let go.

But most of all there is so much JOY in being the Mom of sons.

His precious first smiles.

The home runs.

The milestones in school.

When they insist on opening the door for me.

When they tell me they love the daily texts of Bible verses.

Seeing how great they are with kids.

Watching them serve others.

Praising their achievement of an A, when they did not think they could do it.

Being thankful that they have a job and pay their cell phone bill, car insurance, car payment and their own gas.

Sharing their excitement when they get the job they wanted.

And so much more that I have yet to experience.  I thank God for them, I pray for them, I LOVE them.

So Sons, we Moms (and Dads) will make many, many mistakes.  We want you to grow to be better men and parents than we were.  We have good hearts, we want you to keep Him first, pray that you will never have hard times (although you will), and only want the absolute best for you.  So when we tell you for the Nth time, or tell you again for good measure, or many other things…just give us a hug and tell us you love us.  

All my boys.

All my boys.