I have given birth to four children in the last ten years. I love all of them in very different ways. I love them all with a fierce protection. If I think about it too long and too hard, I would collapse from the intensity of the emotions that I feel for them. As my first born is entering his "tween" phase, I feel as if I am beginning this parenting thing all over again.
(Logan at age 4, welcoming his little brother into the world)
In so many ways, your first born is the guinea pig. They get all of it...your time, your attention, your worry, your doting. Logan has scrapbooks made for him all the way up until his 5th birthday...the others are lucky if they got a photo album of any kind.
I was so immature when I had him, and in many ways I grew up with him. My parenting style was anything but consistent when he was little. He has learned with me as I have learned. I've made many mistakes (haven't we all?), but he is turning out to be a pretty good kid. ;)
(This summer, Logan age 10)
How is it that the little boy who could not leave my side is trying to decide which middle school to attend? The little boy who was obsessed with Thomas the Train is now obsessed with baseball and gasp!, entertaining the thought of dating? In so many ways, he is still a little boy, and yet, I see tiny glimpses of the man he is about to become. I feel like I am treading on thin ice some days. Do I push him harder? Do I let him fall and learn on his own? Someone recently told me it was time to start letting him go a little, and I thought Now? No, now is the time for guidance. Now is the time to be his cheerleader. Now is the time to let him know that he has to work hard for his character, work hard for integrity, work hard for the grades, work hard if he wants to be grand.
I've learned with him (and not all of my kids work this way) to set the standards high. If the standards are low, that is what he will deliver. If the standards are high, than he will try. And in the end, that is what I really want from him. Not perfection, but that he tried his hardest.
(Christmas, 6 years ago)
There will be plenty of time for letting go later.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I am thankful that I have this child in my life...and pray for daily guidance in the ways to rear him.