Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Parenting Beyond the Playground

The hard part of parenting is beginning.

I've enjoyed parenting small children. 

I've been able to guide, distract, direct, and spanky-spoon my kids into proper behavior. They aren't perfect kids by any means, but parenting seems more black and white when children are younger.

"Don't hit the kid with the stick."

"Pick up your toys or you'll go to time-out."

"If you do that again, you will not get ice cream."

I consider that "playground parenting", which is highly important and necessary. Don't underestimate laying the foundation for good behavior when your kids are little.

But now, parenting has taken on a whole new meaning. 

Opie has dealt with a lot the past few years: moving multiple times far away from friends and family, dealing with a traveling Father, and lately, his unidentified sickness.

I knew it had taken a toll on him. Tonight he shared his thoughts.

And I was humbled.

I have never felt so unable

I felt so inadequate listening to him. Trying to comfort him. Trying to make sense of his heart's precious words. 

How could I expect to impart wisdom to a nine year old things that I am still struggling with myself?!?!

But, I was reminded in my heart that I can't focus on myself. In fact, I told him, "I will let you down. Because I am human. I will not handle this all perfectly. God is the only one who will never do you wrong, even when you think otherwise."

Opie and I. High Point State Park, NJ. June 2013

Can I just say, booooy, do I want to "fix" Opie. I want to take it all away. His fears and anxiety. His worry. His troubles. 

But, I can't.

I can continue to seek God, though. And to ask Him to lead me. To change me. To teach me to lean on Him for my strength.

And encourage Opie to do the same.

I will continue to be there for my son. 

I will listen.

And love.

And cuddle with him as he drifts off to sleep. 

Yes, this is the tough side of parenting that I wasn't prepared for. 

But, then again, none of us are. We are each flawed people, full of backgrounds and plenty of our own internal "junk." 

The good news is: God can take my weak, fragile heart and through the Spirit of Jesus, grant me the grace, humility and power to lead my precious Opie through this storm of life.

And by golly, I am his Mom. So I WILL accept that challenge. 

Opie and I. High Point State Park, NJ. June 2013.
Lord, lead me. Minute by minute. Take Opie's mind and fill it with your peace. Your strength. Your hope. Help me to be radically changed by your Spirit so that I may have the ability to be the Mom I need to be for Him. I can not do it without you, Lord. I will fail miserably if it is by my strength. You are in control. May I be the hands and feet and words of Jesus to my children. Teach me Lord. I am willing to learn. May Opie come to know your tenderness and love in the depths of his heart. May he lay his worries at your feet and live a life full of your Presence. Please help me model what that looks like right in front of him. 


1 comment:

  1. Playground parenting - that is a perfect description of those years. I'm walking the new road of parenting with you, sister. All the way. (P.S. You are looking FABULOUS!!!)