It’s hard to believe that my first born son will soon be 18 years old. Seriously, where does the time go? It feels like yesterday that I walked him into his kindergarten classroom; pretty soon I will be watching him walk down the graduation aisle from high school.
This season of raising a child (or children) is so amazing, daunting, and blurry. When I used to worry about doing the right thing or the best thing for my child, now I am questioning myself, “have I done enough to prepare him for the rest of his life?” Have I trained him up to be the man who will be a servant-leader for God and his fellow citizens?
As I look back on these past 18 years I see where I could have been more relaxed and enjoyed each day, rather than wondering if I was doing my best. My son and I laugh at the old photographs of him with his cute little side part in his hair, with his shirt tucked neatly into his pants, held up by an adjustable belt. I ponder about his first words that he spoke, such as “e-e-e-outside” when he wanted to play outside, or “Putnunch and Batnat” to describe his favorite movies (Batman, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame).
But, then I also look back and smile, knowing that I did do the very best I could to train him and prepare him for his future. I am proud of the fact he learned to read at age 5 before he attended kindergarten. I am proud that he taught himself all 50 capitals and state names before he entered first grade. I am proud that he loved to draw and write creative stories. I am so proud that he made the commitment to be baptized at the age of 10.
“There is no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” is a verse from 1 John in the New Testament. I am so grateful that my son, and my other three children, have chosen to embrace the truth of God’s word, even during the tumultuous teen years. He could have chosen a different path, but he decided that his faith in God would direct his steps. As a mother I cannot contain my joy for his choice, knowing that in even an opportunity of rebellion or temptation, he knows the truth.
My wish is for all moms and dads out there to experience this wonderful fruit of their labor in child raising. But, I will admit that it is a narrow path, a difficult road, and a journey of many detours, changes, and tears. Many parents give up too soon in their training of children. They want the short cuts, the easy road, or the opportunity to pass the baton of responsibility to another person. I am glad that my husband and I kept trudging along when we felt the pressure of taking it easy. I am glad that there were friends who gave us support and accountability when we lack the direction. Above all, I am so glad that I followed the truths of God’s word in raising my children, so they will also have the proper foundation for taking the reins as they lead themselves into the future.