Taylor came home tonight with an application for his first job. He’s applying at a few places. A grocery store. A hardware store. A pizza joint. It was so funny watching him fill out his apps (asking a ton of questions and then not trusting my answers) and then driving away to drop them off at their various destinations. He’s nervous. I could tell that when he asked what phone number to put down. He wasn’t sure he wanted to list his own. It would really be easier if he could just write mine. If the questions were all directed to me. If I could essentially, get him the job. And if I’m being honest, I would rather have put my own number down as well. What kind of questions will they ask? Will he represent himself well? Will they understand that he’s really just a little boy trying out another of life’s firsts right before my eyes?
The fact is, I can’t live ANY of his firsts for Taylor. I couldn’t take his driving test for him or be there when he went out for that first night with his buddies. I can’t go in and ask his teacher for extra credit assignments or explain that he’s not been feeling very well lately when his performance is not as good as I know it would be. These are not my firsts, they are Taylor’s. Why is it so hard to let him do it on his own? Is it because I really want to take control? Is it because I want to live all my firsts over through my kids? I don’t think so. I think the reason it’s hard to watch him take these steps into adulthood is because he carries a part of my heart around with him everywhere he goes. Wow – Taylor would absolutely die if he saw that – “MOM – YOU ARE SUCH A GEEK!!!!”But, it’s true – he does. Every time he tries and fails my heart bleeds. I get bruised each time I see him hurt. I hate sending him out there to a world I know if full of potential bruising and bleeding.
But… isn’t it the battle scars of life that have shaped me? Hasn’t it been the hardest of times – the times I’ve had to walk through without a parent there to make it better – that have strengthened me? I know that my relationship with Christ wouldn’t be what it is if I had been protected from the harshness of the world – firsts and all.
Even with all of this knowledge it’s hard. It’s hard to watch as he moves closer and closer to the day when he flies completely out of the nest. On the one hand I am ready. I have no interest in holding him back or keeping him down. I am so excited about the idea of the college and marriage and children in his future. But on the other hand I know that this comes at great sacrifice. It means allowing for the battlefield of life to engage my son. The child I look at and can barely recognize as a little boy anymore is a strapping man – all 6’3’’ of him and it’s time for his firsts to be his own. Pray with me will you, that I will have the trust to release him safely in God’s hands towards the life marked out for him. Pray that I will have the strength to begin the letting go… bruises, bleeding and all.