Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Growing up - Letting go

Oh sometimes it is hard to grow up! But not for me, of course - I am an adult, a wife and mother of two college students, and all grown up. I remember feeling growing up was sometimes hard as a child, a teen, and even in my 20's and 30's - heck, I remember the first time I let my son play in the yard by himself. I remember having to make myself not go to the window just to stand and watch but to check on him and sit back down or continue doing what I was doing. I told myself then it was probably the first time I was having to take deliberate action to grow up as a mom. That same baby boy, now 21 years old, called today with sharp ear pains causing severe enough head aches for him to leave work. He called for advice, asked to speak to Dr. Mom, and he questioned whether there was something he could go buy at the drug store to take care of it. Now in all my medical wisdom and brilliance, I wanted to tell him exactly what to do. What good would that do - I would not be teaching him to handle these things himself merely teaching him to rely on me. So after much discussion from which I hope he was learning what questions to ask himself in these cases, I told him he needed to evaluate the level of pain he was having - realize it could be anything from a foreign object to an infection to a tumor (though not likely) and that messing around with one's hearing, ruptured ear drums, etc... could lead to more severe problems - then determine if he needed to go straight to the doctor or speak to a pharmacist about intervening symptomatic treatment. After bantering about what he should do through cell phone calls and text messages, he made his way to the local drug store, spoke to the pharmacist and left with some Sudafed and a plan to see the doctor on Friday morning if it was not better. He is growing up!

In the mean time, the 18 year old daughter wants to leave after she gets off work at 11:15 pm on Sunday to drive, with her 21 year old boyfriend, 7 hours and 2 states away to her father's house. Realizing this is one of those times she is growing up, I thought about the times her brother has driven back from his co-op job 4 states away and had car trouble - how fortunate we have been he has travel roadside service, and how she didn't really need to be on the road over night when leaving the next day was a perfectly acceptable alternative. I told her she was not leaving that night and could go the next day. After a call to her boyfriend, she seemed fine with that decision and even seemed to listen to me when I said this is the type of thing you talk over with the parents not just make a decision about and do. We came to an understanding - she is growing up and wants to control her life and make all decisions, but the reality is when one matures, one asks advice and seeks wisdom as part of the decision making process.

So I am once again learning when to let go and when to put my foot down. In the end my job as a parent includes raising them to be able to live independently and make wise decisions. In neither instance did I become emotional, jump in the car to rescue anyone, rant or rave to make my way known, or take the easy way. In both instances, my children got lessons in how to make wise decisions for themselves. Oh for Heaven's sake, I am growing up again!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From 1986

A boy? How do I parent a boy? I only had sisters. I am a girl. What do I do with a boy? God, help me to know what to do with this child You gave me. Help me to raise him to be the man You want him to be. Keep him close to You please - always. A boy - now what do I know about football? I better learn quickly.

Is this what we've come to?

Is it really all about Posh and David? Do we really care whether Jamie Lynn has a girl or boy or who is with her when she has this baby? Does it matter who made Michelle's dress or how much it cost at Black and White? Does it matter if the high school girls made a pact to get pregnant? Does that change the fact they are pregnant, long for love, lack attention, or can't find personal value? Everyone has interests, true; but are these things news? Are these the major happenings of today's world? Values are showing! Do these things matter or are they ways to make some people feel better or worse about themselves? Is it all mass marketing? Are we as a people so stupid as to fall for all the mass marketing around us each day? Chalk it up to noting history - of society, people, politics, fashion, entertainment, life - but when it starts affecting what we do as people, has it gone too far? What shapes you? Who are you? And who are you because of news? What affects who you are - What you buy? What you value? What you laugh at? What you cry about? What you choose to do each day?

Fear Unfounded

A place unknown
What lives here
Who ventures in this path
When did it all happen
Where will it go from here
A place unknown awaiting discovery - fear, beauty, discovery