There is a phenomenon that stops me dead in my tracks these days. My boy is a tween. He no longer will be entertained by the things I have entertained him with for years. Toys, picture books, crafts, playgrounds, it’s all dwindling. I’m stunned that I have no solution. It brings me to the point of tears, what do I do now? I start beating myself up, because my son’s carnal desires are screens: video games, TV, ipad. I go to the library and it is full of amazing books that I would read if I wasn’t folding laundry and making meals. My boy picks out the graphic novels. I’m OK with this, except I have to check them out for content, or they are so bone-headed and short, there is no reason to even check them out. My boy does not do sports, this is OK with me. What can we do with these unstructured summer days? Days that I feel I should have shipped you off to camp? I should have, but I didn’t, because I’m still treating you like you’re little. My boy is not little, he’s big. Josiah has a big sense of humor, a big love for people, and he is big. He’s 5 ft tall. His papa and I haven’t done the summer camps, because well, they cost a lot. But I’m realizing that many of his peers are doing camps. Or traveling, a lot. I feel like I’m screwing up my kid. He is at home with two sisters all the time. I give him chores, summer reading, and we’re still finishing math. He wants to continue to homeschool, but this year, all of his close homeschooling buddies are going to school. I am looking at new challenges, my heart is being pummeled with choices I do not feel quite ready to make. I am frantically looking for help from library clubs, a youth group leader, extra things that will encourage my non-athletic, screen loving, people person of a boy. I love my boy, he still is my little boy, but he is big. But maybe, it is all simpler than I am making it. I have held onto the belief that God has children grow at the pace you are ready for them to grow. I am ready for Josiah to be big. I need him to mature and become an amazing young man, because he is an amazing kid! He shows frustration toward his five year old sister. I think that has to do with deep longings in his heart where things are churning, angry, and disappointed. This causes me to examine ALL of my decisions for him. But maybe, just maybe, he’s just being a frustrated kid! His sister frustrated him, that could be the only thing! So I deal with the strife, hand out discipline if need be, then I try not to think too hard about it. I also believe that having a character that is consistent brings joy into your life. I believe that if I am consistent with how I treat my son, growing and changing attitudes aside, I will show love to him. He will feel his foundation is sturdy and he can become who he is meant to be. I also believe that I am not raising this boy to be a reflection of me. I have him in my life to teach me about the character of God. I have him in my life to change me too. I have him in my life to reflect the glory of God in this amazing boy! I have prayed a blessing over Josiah ever since he was a little baby:
God bless Josiah, make him a strong man of faith, may he do things for the Kingdom no one else can do.
Josiah is living in this blessing. I have to trust what God is doing in him. I have to grow and change and love Josiah as he lives in this blessing. He won’t be like everyone else, I have been asking God for him to be different! This means I have to believe that each challenge that comes our way is another way that he is being shaped. I want to give my boy to times of helping and service. I am not raising him to be entertained, I am helping him learn how to be a helper. I have to pray for times that he can be with his buddies, that it will be joyful and fruitful (and often!!). I cannot fill the space that another boy can fill in his life. But even in times that he is alone, I need to rest my mama heart in the fact that God will show me what to do, and that Josiah will show me what he needs. He showed me when he was a baby that he was tired, hungry and uncomfortable. Just like when I would try to rock him, pat him, hold him to try and get him to sleep, until one day in my exhaustion I just put him down in his bed. He needed to be left alone. He was peaceful and he stopped fussing. My mama heart wants to mess with him until I am satisfied that I’ve tried it all to solve his problems. Sometimes, I have to leave him alone. Let go and Let God. Cheesy, but true.