Is Your Child The Family Pet?

My world briefly imploded when our son had legitimate wiggling TEETH.

PLURAL.

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As an all-or-nothing girl, it appears God is going to cut my ties with the little boy world all at once!

The first outward emergence of adulthood is dawning as one by one baby teeth we joyously welcomed are gone far too soon. His smile will forever change and another milestone will pass. How quickly those milestones pass us by. 

Daily reminders of his maturing independence keep me in check and my heart aches with the growing realization that this precious boy isn’t a possession to keep like a family pet for all of time. (Yes, I did just say that out loud.) 

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Oh how I want to experience every moment of life with this boy, who first made me a mama. I want to hold his hand forever, listen to his wild and silly stories….truth be told, I have the power to be the suffocating kind of mom. Selfishly. 

Regardless of my selfish heart’s desires, this boy is not mine. Like you and me, he is God’s uniquely created property.

Doubt and insecurity flood my mind. Am I allowing him to thrive, to be the created boy he’s intended to be or am I just another adult smashing down the gifts that make him special, traits that set him apart and can be used for God’s glory. 

There would be no greater fail as a parent than to cripple and debilitate a child because of shortsighted selfishness. 

Just look around at adults desperately trying to be “unique”. Is this because the adults before them squished traits that were ‘annoying’ or ‘inconvenient’ to make life run more ‘efficiently’ and ‘peacefully’? Surely my home would be less noisy if I completely banned whistling in the house, and yes we must be cognizant and considerate of surroundings and people, but why, why so often do we tell kids to stop being kids? Not our possession, our kids cannot be kept and must be taught to soar. 

It’s frightening to contemplate the boy from the womb turning to a man, but it won’t happen all at once. An elephant isn’t engulfed at once, so a bite at a time it is. Focusing on the gift of a new day, of life, of heath, of opportunity to lean in to God quickly coaxes a smile deep within.

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2 responses to “Is Your Child The Family Pet?

    • Diane, I had to shelf this piece for a few months because my heart ached as I wrote it…if I have an ounce of wisdom, it’s definitely from God! Your encouragement has a profound effect- thank you!

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