Oh my. It is that time of life when my son is beginning to grow up and away from Mom. Honestly I don’t quite know how to feel about this time in his life. He has been with me through some rugged times and also some contented times. I guess, though, it is a part of life to see the little guy you launch into pre-school, then kindergarten and on through elementary school begin to want more out of life than just Mom.
It seems only yesterday he was hugging my neck so tightly that I thought I might stop breathing. I remember how he tried to play with my jewelry and so I stopped wearing earrings and necklaces for a while. I thought it better than having him get a cut from the jewelry or break an earring or necklace. But those days are now over and it is safe for me to wear jewelry once more.
I know that I used to complain to my Mom that I worried about him being so clingy to me. She wisely told me that the day would come when he was in fifth or sixth grade that he would grow out of the cuddle phase. I thought at the time I could hardly wait but now that it is here…excuse me while I wipe a tear…now that it is here I feel sad.
Isn’t that the way of parents? We work so hard to bring up our children and we want to see them grow up and we want to see them become successful adults. We want them to do well in school and to make friends and so we give them piano lessons and other lessons so that they will be confident and have good self-esteem. We nurture them and worry about them and take care of them and preach to them about God’s love and talk to them about bullies. We encourage them and we support them and we discipline them and one day we realize that we have worked ourselves out of a job. Yes my boy is growing up!
Honestly I am happy to see him making new friends and branching out in the world of other-than-home-and-school. I am happy to see him learning about the world around us. I am happy to see him begin to think on his own and embrace his own faith in Jesus Christ. It is exciting to hear about his new-found adventures, or it would be if he shared with me. I know my Mom warned me this day was coming but I am not ready yet to let him go. She warned me that there would come a day when friends were more important than Mom and when privacy would become the rule and time spent in his room would be the norm. She warned me and reminded me to enjoy the togetherness we share while I could. Thankfully I have a few more years with him as he is only in fifth grade. It won’t be long, though, and he will be gone just like his siblings before him grew up and flew away from the nest.
I think that it is a good time for me to take inventory of all the things I want to teach my son while he is still living at home. I want him to know how to make his bed and clean his room and take out the trash and cook for himself. He does all of that pretty well. I want him to know how to clean his bathroom, he doesn’t do that very well yet so I think it best to keep working on him in this area. I want him to know music and he is taking piano lessons. He needs to keep going and I am sure he will eventually get better…eventually…I hope! I want him to love Jesus and realize how precious life is and to respect authority and love others with God’s love. So far he is on target in these areas too.
So what doesn’t he know yet that I want him to know about life? I want him to know how to wash and dry his clothes, that is yet to be learned. Of course he will need to learn to drive and he will have to learn how to drive a stick shift manual transmission car as well. That should be interesting! I want him to know how to dress for church and work and prom. I want him to know how to shop for his own clothes and how to sew on a button or sew up a rip. I want him to know how to pound a nail into a board and change a tire and maybe even change the oil on his car. Maybe there’s an app for that!
I want him to know about how his own body works and how to keep his emotions and feelings under control. I want him to know about girls, but not too soon. I want him to know that girls have feelings too and they have parents and brothers and uncles who just might be bigger than he is and want to do him harm if he doesn’t respect the girls he may date. I need to discuss sex with him and how important it is to have a proper attitude about sex and how to wait until he is married to have sex and oh how I wish I knew how to teach him all about sex! Not looking forward to that conversation…thankfully it is a year or two off yet!
I want him to understand all about his adoption and how special his biological mom is to have given him life. I want him to know that I am very proud to be his Mom. I want him to go back to China with me when he is older and together we will explore the country where he was born. I want him to know that it is okay to be curious about where he came from. I want him to know some of the Chinese language and manners and customs and foods. He may be an American but he also is Chinese and needs to know about that heritage.
I want him to know what he wants out of life and not be lazy in deciding what career to pursue. Everyone needs to have a job and provide a home and all the needs therein. I don’t want him to be a bum that mooches off of Mom forever! But that too can wait a few years. Most of all, though, I want him to understand who he is in Christ Jesus and what it means to be a Christian and how to live out his life on the path of righteousness. So much to learn and so little time left with me.
I think the hardest learning for him is yet to come. He will have to sort through all the facts and feelings to decide what he believes and how he feels about his Dad. I can pray for him and I can answer questions about the divorce and abandonment but he will have to figure out on his own how he feels and where his Dad fits into his future. That is something I can’t do for him but I am thankful his siblings are in his life and can step up and help him when the time comes.
Yes, there is much I want to teach my son before he leaves my home. And there is much I still need to learn about raising a boy. I know only one thing which is a fact…my son is and has been and always will be a blessing to me just as his siblings are all blessings to me. I may not be a man, but the proverb still applies for me.
A righteous man who walks in his integrity– How blessed are his sons after him. Proverbs 20:7, (New American Standard Bible).
I am blessed by my children, all of my children, my son-in-laws, and granddaughter. I am blessed to be loved by them and to have been their Mom and Mom-in-love. I hope that I am a blessing to them as well. Life is a journey and mine has been long and full with many years, I hope, still ahead. What about your own journey? What do you want your children to know?
Until next time…Katherine