beloved, change, childhood, children, courage, faith, first job, first paycheck, growing up, high school, independence, intimacy, Jennifer Richardson, journey, letting go, love, parenting, parents, progress, Ripplespeak, steps, teenager, tending to the turn, trust, wonder years
The boys finally return from their four dreamy summer weeks on Georgian Bay (Canada) on Friday.
Jeremy and I left them behind a couple of weeks ago, returning home on our own. The time has flown by as busy-ness with work, friends, and various projects–the ones that seem to never get done–have filled our days.
Our major focus though, has been redesigning, painting and organizing the room of a boy who has gone from a child to a teen.
Jesse starts high school in just 6 days. He had his first official job this summer and he earned his first paycheck. He went scuba diving for the first time just this very week. These are some wonder years, truly.
Despite our natural propensity to want to keep him close, we’re making the changes to his room as a symbol of this new stage of his life. We’re acknowledging–with a mixture of wistfulness and excitement–that he’ll be taking more and more independent steps from here on out.
How do we let our eldest child–he who is so beloved–step out onto this new road? How do we let him walk through the big, unfamiliar doors of a school where he will surely be one of the youngest students? How do we simply watch him join the throngs of strangers, trusting that he will capably make his way through uncharted territory?
There is no how.
We simply do.
We know that we cannot let our anxieties obstruct his eager progress.
This is the natural way of life’s unfolding. This is what God intended for us to experience in the often difficult dance between intimacy and independence.
So I deliberately don’t focus on all of the things that my boys will encounter on a daily basis that I simply cannot control.
I try to trust and hope and let them be them.
After all, they are pretty fantastic.
And yet this is a novice’s attempt at faith and parenting and letting go when compared to the one soon to be faced by my new blogging friend–who just happens to live in Charlotte–Jennifer Richardson.
She writes here, on her blog Ripplespeak, about what would be one of the hardest letting gos a mother could ever face. She calls it “Tending into the Turn:”
~~~~Please wrap this warrior poet in arms bigger than mine
and hold him close to the tender light
and love him whole even in breaking
….. cover him with your bright wings
and bring him home safe to us again~~~~~
Prayers for you, Jennifer. Prayers and peace across the miles, new friend.
May I have such courage each and every time I too am tending into the turn.