“Better watch those boys,” she always says. “Bad people tend to snatch up the blond haired, blue-eyed kids.”
I cringe every time my mom reminds me of this…I prefer to believe that with my watchful eyes and careful parenting my boys will be by my side forever.
But the truth is, they are already leaving me….not being forcefully taken by someone, but moving away from me of their own accord, in a natural progression.
How is it that Xander is already four and has finished a year of preschool? Little Grahamy is two and can already say his ABC’s and count to 15? And Landon, the baby, is not so little any more at 5 months old?
Studies show that a child’s personality and temperament and behaviors are basically set by the time they reach 7 years old. I have become very aware of just how little time left I have to cement certain things into Xander, and the task of parenting becomes daunting when I think of all the things they need to know before I send them off into the world….there just doesn’t seem to be enough time!
Both of my older boys have discovered girls already, and are infatuated with the little eight year old neighbor girl….daily they stand at the door, wave, and say “Hiiiiiiiii Shelby, hiiiiii Shelby!”, and both do their best to impress her with their little boy antics. I realize that in ten or so years, I won’t be the “cool” girl in their lives anymore, and might not hear any longer on a regular basis that I’m the bestest mommy in the whole world.
I don’t relish the idea of them leaving…I don’t want to lose the cuddles, the kisses, the tickles, and the childish innocence they have. Still, leaving is inevitable, and I’m OK with it as long as they leave me in such a way that they move closer and closer to Jesus. I’m content if they leave being my soft, snuggly little boys to turn into devoted followers of Jesus, strong leaders of their families, advocates for the hurting, poor, and forgotten. They have never really belonged to me anyway…I asked God for them in the very beginning and gave them right back to him when they were born….sometimes I forget this and think they are just mine.
In the end, if they learn to love Jesus well, they won’t ever really be leaving. They will just be moving away for a while to do what He asks of them, and I’ll have them forever.