Shoulders

It doesn’t seem so long ago that I first hid tears from my son. It was the first day of second grade. I’d walked him to class since PreK3.

The first time he asked me to let him go in alone I was surprised. But that’s what he wanted. So I choked it back, and forced it down, as I watched his small shoulders straighten with pride. He made his way to the front doors, alone. When he turned back and waved, it took all the gumption I had to not run over and hug him. I waved back even as he was already inside the building.

Some memories stand out more than others. I won’t ever forget how difficult it was to let him grow just that tiny bit, and I will never forget how much taller he seemed, with such pride in his posture. Small things in life turn out to be big things further down the road.

There isn’t a mother anywhere that doesn’t feel some degree of “Mom Guilt”. I have realized, though, that there is an equal and opposite reward for judiciously encouraging a child’s independence while tempering encouragement with firm support.

Children are only children for a season. Mothers, though, are mothers for all time.

The toughest undertaking a woman ever accepts is to raise principled and high-minded citizens. Our little people will (too) soon be leaders of the world.

Children develop at varying rates physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It takes guts to wait it out. At some point, we have all pushed the boundaries on the road to independence.

Those same shoulders now stand nearly even with my own. It is a bittersweet realization, because I know the world only gets heavier from here.

There will be times when he’ll be tempted to follow the world- for a season. There will be moments he will question truth; there will be old boundaries to push, and new limits to reach.

When I signed up for motherhood, I committed to raising a man- a loving husband and supportive father. I must nurture him in such a manner that he will be equipped to do the same for the generations that follow.

It is my prayer- every single day, to reach my season for looking back on formative years with my son, and know without a shred of doubt, I did my best.

I readily admit I will hold my breath, wait up past curfew, ask too many questions, and wish I could slow the clock.

He will test my patience; I will test his will. He will not be a copy of me; he will be a reflection. I will pour my effort into supporting him in the way he is meant to go.

When the time comes for him to straighten those shoulders and take on full responsibility as a man, I will step back far enough to allow him freedom, but never so far behind that he can’t turn back. Even if he only needs to wave.

Be blessed, Y’all.

(c) 2015