Monday, June 24, 2013

When Boys Become Men

I'm losing my babies. Time is slipping away before my eyes, running through my fingers as I try to hang on tighter.  I'm watching my little boys become men, day by day.

My oldest - my firstborn, who I watched and guarded so carefully - is now watching out for me. He checks my tires. He cooks dinner. He encourages me. A few months ago, as I prepared to take a hard test with very high stakes, he left this for me on the refrigerator:

He started youth group this summer.  Youth.  Already.  It doesn't seem possible.  Wasn't it just a few days ago when I held that tiny newborn in my arms - a new mom, holding a new life, falling head over heels in love.  Can we just rewind a little?

My youngest is too big for me to pick up anymore. He writes in cursive and reads massive amounts about dinosaurs.  My preemie who fought so hard for every breath those first few days of life will now fight for breath through his laughter as he tells jokes or watches his favorite movie, calling out, "Mom, this is just too funny!"

I look around at the shoes lying in the floor - they are now bigger than my own.  Tears fill my eyes. Can we slow this down?  Time is passing by much too fast.  In six years, my oldest will graduate - my baby will follow him just three years later.  I feel this crazy twist of emotions - pride and delight as I see the men they are becoming, as I watch their strengths and talents and passions emerging; sadness that all too quickly, they will be all grown up and our home will become an empty nest.

I got my first taste of what that will be like when they went to camp last week.  It marked the longest time I've ever been away from my boys - four nights.  The house was so empty without them.  There were a little homesick, but they came back with stories of ziplining, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, amazing chapel services - and the highlight of it all, Top Shot champion Dustin Ellermann teaching them to shoot.  They had adventures of their own, and they loved it.  It was a week that proved they are growing up.

No one told me that motherhood is such a mixed up mess of joy and fear.  My heart fills with pride at the men my boys are becoming - and breaks because it's happening much too quickly.  The hardest part of parenting is the letting go.  It's a thousand little moments leading up to the ultimate moment of turning them loose in the world and praying that they make the right choices, that what we've done is enough.

I can't rely on myself to prepare them for life.  No matter how much my husband and I teach them, no matter how many church services we take them to or how many family devotions we read, so much about their lives is out of our hands.  I have to let them go and place them in God's hands.

Do you have a verse that you cling to for your children?  This is mine.  What a perfect reminder this week, as I review one of my favorite verses with Hide His Word.  He knows them far better than I do.  He has plans for them - good plans.  They are in His hands, hands that are so much bigger than my own.  Letting go is never easy - but I know they will be safe in their Father's hands.


  1. When I learned I had osteoporosis, I asked my doctor what had caused it. "Everything you ate up to the age of 10." It reminded me of the Psychology course I studied that taught how the first 10 years set the mold. I suspect this is as true spiritually as it is physically and emotionally.

    The note suggests the mold is well set, Amanada. It suggests your eldest now has the choice to evolve well beyond his parents.

    What better gift can a parent give?

  2. I remember being so eager for each of my children to take their first steps and for all the important milestones in their development. It all happens so quickly and they grow up in spite of all the wisdom you don't get to share with them. Of course, when they reach their 20's, they know everything but, in their 30's, parents become a needed source of advice and support.

    And then, you become a grandparent; a chance to do it all over again with the smiles from small faces that think you are absolutely genius in all you do!

    In spite of it all, each will experience both failure and success but with the foundation of our love and His guidance leading the way.

    Lovely post!


I would love to hear your thoughts!