I'm off again, this time to Colorado to pick Samuel up at the ranch where he's been for the past few weeks. He says he hasn't shaved since he got there -- bet he looks like a grizzly bear! -- but that he'll shave before I arrive. Who cares! I'm just looking forward to seeing him again!
This "letting go" thing that parents have to do, it's not so easy. It's just one of a thousand things that you don't really understand when you start out. You learn that you're going to be parents, and you get all starry-eyed and dreamy, imagining your idyllic life with this amazing child, your child, and what good parents you will be. And then the baby arrives, after hours of unimaginable pain, and there you are, traumatized and sweaty -- both of you -- holding this tiny, squalling person who has just left all the comforts of the womb and is totally dependent upon you to meet his needs.
You are now a parent, and for the rest of your life nothing will ever go quite like you'd imagined.
Nothing about parenting has been particularly easy, nor according to my fluffy, substance-less dreams, but it has been the sweetest, hardest, most consuming, awe-filled experience of my life. These boys of ours, these mysterious, marvelous boys, have changed me. I have had to accept paradoxes. For example, I have become more aware of my desperate need for God, yet have learned to be more self-confident. I have had to learn to advocate for my kids, being both forceful and gracious. My boys don't always want to do things the way I would, so I am learning to hold firm to the essentials and give lots of room for personal preference.
I could never have imagined the life I have, nor would I have picked it out of a list of possible scenarios. But, praise the Lord, He didn't give me that opportunity. It was God's idea, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.