On Being a Parent
Posted on Nov 03, 2021 by Toni Graham
I've had to do a lot of stepping up in my life. I've done it with disdain, indifference, fear, excitement, need, commitment, and so on. But how often do I purposely step down? When do I let others step up? Why should I let others step up?
I think this is a very important question for parents. Your 2-year-old says, "ME DO IT!" and if you're like I was you cringe and hover. I cringed and hovered over five kiddos who now range in age from 34 to 42. They are imperfectly perfect as I often say about a variety of things I do. They have grown best when I let them spill milk all over the table as they insisted, "ME DO IT!" They have grown best when I let them step up and I stepped down or stepped away.
The very thought of sending my second child, Katie, to kindergarten made my heart hurt so bad I cried all the way home, and as I predicted she was in tears as soon as we walked through the door on that first day. Ditto the next day. On the third day I walked her through the door and she smiled, let go of my hand, and happily walked away! My oldest child, Lindsay, had warned her that if her shoe came untied during P.E. she better be able to tie it herself or the teacher would yell at her! Poor Katie was terrified, and her sister, just a year older but so FULL of wisdom, was dutifully giving her a heads up! It took almost three days, but I had to let Katie step up. I couldn't "do kindergarten" for her. She came home, practiced tying her dad’s shoes, and had it perfected after two tries!
That was a simple story compared to the coming events as those five children grew through life. Of course, I held their hands over and over again for years, either figuratively or actually as they needed guidance crossing so many busy roads.
Well, enough about me, let's look at this through God's eyes. Woah! Talk about some massive pain and heartache. He has had to step down and step away from His children way too many times. He also has enjoyed many moments of incredible joy! But like any good parent, He guides when and where needed, and even had a book of instructions gifted to us — a big book of how to's and wherefores and therefores as to make it very clear how to navigate through life without getting hit by a car while crossing the street.
I'm sure He prays over us, for us, just as we pray for our own children. He wants us to succeed, and when we fall he wants us to know just how very loved we are and how very strong we can be. Our how-to book is the Bible. Our gathering place in learning and navigating through it is the church. There we come together as a family, a whole bunch of kids that are learning to pour our own milk and tie our own shoes so we don't get yelled at by the P.E. teacher.
With many loving thoughts and prayers for you all,