“Jesus went down to Nazareth with his parents and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every thing in her heart. Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.” (Luke 2:51-52)
Both of the children are clearly, no question about it, taller than me now. This brings an odd sense of losing my place in the world. My place was to hover over them protectively. I’m certain I’m hunchbacked from a decade plus of this posture. But now, I look up at them lovingly or suspiciously, depending on the look that’s required. That’s a weird, new posture for me.
And, I quit making their lunches. I thought 7th and 9th grades were a good time for them to make their own. Now I’m not a total reprobate parent: they knew how to make their own lunches and did so occasionally. But this year I said, it’s all up to you. No nagging, no supervising what you put in. It’s you, baby!
And our son is walking home from school and our daughter is navigating the bus system and they are both just way too big for their britches. I’m thinking, this is only the beginning, and we have to keep going, keep going, keep going, so they can be strong and resilient and interdependent and grown people. That is the goal, yes? So they can be like Jesus. Remember his growing up story? He stayed in Jerusalem after his parents left to travel back home. (He forgot to tell them, of course. Even Jesus was a kid). He wanted to study with the great teachers of his time and see things for himself. When his parents come looking for him, Jesus says, “Didn’t you know this is where I needed to be?”
Didn’t you know? As parents we do know. We know our kids have to be where they can grow, try, learn, fail, pack their own lunches, and make their own way. We let go a little at a time, intentionally, purposefully. Not too fast- obedience (which at its root means listening) is still required of our kids. Not too slow- delayed letting go is stunted growth.
We let go in order to get. To get a mature human being. Meanwhile, I’m treasuring this time in my heart. Even the short jokes.