Hubby and I are moving into a new season of parenting. As our son enters his senior year of high school, I feel like a mother bird preparing to nudge her young out of the nest, trusting that he will not only fly, but soar, just as he’d been taught.
But did anyone ask how that mother bird felt when she pushed her baby out of the nest? Did anyone ask if she had any regrets or misgivings? Her response might have been this: “I didn’t have time to cry or even think about it because I still had the other babies that needed my attention.”
Yes, but didn’t you have anxiety, lingering fears about what the little bird might encounter out in the cold, cruel world? What if he fell? What if he didn’t truly grasp the concept of rising early in the morning to search for the plumpest worm?
Mother bird started flapping her wings and fluttering around in a circle. In human terms, she was pacing in exasperation, searching for the right words to share: “Sigh! God gave you humans complex brains so you could comprehend mysteries and use your intellect for good. Why must you waste it on needless worry and second-hand analysis?”
Enough of the bird talk! She didn’t speak my language anyway! But the bird has a point. I could spend this new school year languishing over the fact that each day, every event or activity will be the last day Joshua and I do “this” together (and drive my son crazy in the process). Or, I could nag him daily about the importance of this year and how it’s critical that he meet all the deadlines for college and scholarship applications while staying on top of his academic and work requirements. I could also seek to cram in everything that I’ve forgotten to teach him up to this point, such as how to cook a full four-course meal or the best way to fold clothes so they don’t wrinkle. I could stress the importance of sending thank you notes to potential employers after the initial job interview, and by the way, thank you notes are still important when receiving gifts. I could implore my son to spend quality time with his brother, grandparents, and of course, with us for that matter, because time is of the essence, and tomorrow is not promised.
I could also turn the full force of my attention onto Caleb, my 10th grader, who will be with me a for a whole three years. I can impart so much knowledge into those years, learning from the mistakes I made with my oldest. Maybe I should grab a journal and brainstorm how to find teachable moments in every encounter we have.
On the other hand, I could simply do as God intended: enjoy every day as the gift it is, and treasure time spent with BOTH my sons, trusting that the values hubby and I instilled in them, and the faith we have in God serve as a solid foundation for their future success.
Lynne B. Ford is enjoying life in Pawleys Island. Contact her at email@example.com