tomorrow before it is fully light outside, we will all seven pile into the SUV with the little trailer attached, and we will become road-warriors, taking our first arrow to his newest mark. i will wrap my arms around the chest that’s now as high as my face, and i will bury myself there for a moment. i’ll hold him just as long as he will let me (and i think i’m spoiled – it’s longer than most boy-men his age), and i will thank my Papa for the privilege of watching him grow this far. i’m officially a mom of a college freshman, and two days from now, it will be move-in-day.
i will watch him walk the aisle and sign the history book of his college of choice, and i will see his life begin to meld with the lives of a new community, where he will hopefully soak in Truth and plant it as well, as together a body of students and instructors seek Wisdom in age-old books and “new” research. (and i’m betting i will glimpse his feeling too big for his britches, as my grandma would say, and also that i will notice him shaking in his boots a little. because i can relate to all-at-once feeling so big, and so small.)
i’ll go back to our hotel and i’ll smile at the other four, some of whom will be more transparent in their trepidation at leaving the biggest somewhere new and strange.
i’ll put my head on a strange pillow and try to calm the questioning thoughts, the ones that say i didn’t do enough, i didn’t teach enough, i didn’t pray enough. the ones that wonder if he will be “safe” as he spreads his wings. if he will make the “target,” if he will fly straight, if he will leave Grace in his path.
i will pray, as always, that he will treat women and children and old people (and ok, everyone, really) with kindness and respect. that he will not be swayed by what the world tells him is acceptable, but will be driven by what his Father whispers is Loving. that when things are hard, he will run first to Him, and then always feel freedom to come to us, but that along the way there will be those around him who will offer wisdom he can trust. i will hope he studies hard, and sleeps, and eats green stuff, and makes memories and learns all he can in this time. that he honors his team and makes his profs proud and above all, that he will point others to the One who made him.
and i will know, as i already do, that likely he will lose a few feathers, that his path may meander. i will be reminded (thanks to a few wise friends who speak truth gently and firmly to my mama-heart) that i haven’t done enough. or prayed enough. taught enough. or been enough. and that is the beauty of Grace… that God is full of it, and He knows we have to depend on Him to fill in the gaps. one sweet sister said, “this is where you get to see God be big.” and this is my desire – that where i am small, the One who made us will be big – and especially in the lives of the ones He has entrusted me to love.
and isn’t that true about all of life? it’s when we come to the end of “me,” that we see what is bigger. so after i hold tight to this tall one who still has much growing ahead (and oh, so do i!), i will open my arms and i will send him off. i’ll be praying for every opportunity to embrace him again along the way. i’ll be praying that he listens for Truth and acts in Love. and i will be thankful for the moments leading up to today – the day the first one takes flight.