Am I the only one…the only one that in the midst of parenting find old memories of being the child reemerging shedding light on the plight of children. Wow, how vividly I remember the words of those in authority over me and their actions. I had that awkward pairing of intense emotionality and deep thinking for one so young, just as Noah does, always feeling more than was comfortable and unsure and unable to handle it smoothly thus causing more trouble for myself and for others.
I remember wanting to undo what was done to the point of misery followed by self-loathing and sometimes other-loathing as well. The teacher who loved to tell me I was not “a privileged character” in her most demeaning tone and high and mighty look pushed me to the brink more than a few times and left me feeling utterly despised and dejected. Man…how I hated those days with a passion!
Then home to parents who were exasperated with me further intensified my woes. Those were the days…the days I was told to enjoy and that were heralded as “the best days of your life.” I well remember thinking, “if these are the best days, I dread to even think of what lies ahead!” I say this with a weary smile understanding my boy more than he can begin to imagine. He looks at me and sees a mostly calm and loving Mom who nurtures and encourages and handles the days with seemingly easy grace. If only he knew the rocky and treacherous path I traveled before I found how to make my way more easily, maybe then he could breathe a sigh of relief and believe better days are ahead for him.
Do you ever long for a world free from influences that divide us, tempt us, ensnare us, and inflame disputes? I do! Every day…
I have watched Noah’s face fall so many times as he has found in a cool sounding song lyrics that degrade. I’ve seen him excited about games then disheartened when he found them to contain graphics depicting images he did not want to see. I’ve heard his disappointment as he has asked what something in a movie or television show meant only to learn it was something that should never have been included that once heard cannot be unheard and that will from then on come unbidden to mind to be fought against in order not to say and find himself face to face with more trouble. Life is hard, too hard sometimes, especially for caring folks.
I am committed, fully committed, to teaching responsibility, accountability, and respect to my son in a world where disrespect is on display in every arena. How to do this? Prayerfully, patiently, consistently, and in great love. The focus after failure of which there will be much for all has to be reconciliation and restored fellowship, else we lose the battle for hearts and minds.
I went through many years of bitterness that I do not want for my son. How to navigate these formative years without it will be a challenge, but one worth engaging with fervor. I’m not one to quit in these middle years and past. So as we face these last few weeks of fifth grade, I count as a blessing each day of learning and growth and remind myself as I remind my boy that The Lord’s great mercies are new every morning because He is faithful. May we be ever faithful, too, in beginning again with hope and trust.