Friday, May 13, 2011

Fruit...Home...& Moving the World

It seemed like it would last forever. I wasn't ready when the day arrived. I didn't even show up a day late. It took years before I was finally comfortable with the task. Some days it seemed like nothing changed. I was trapped forever, up before I thought I had gone to bed and dragging my feet, the days lingered at an unholy crawl. I wondered what the heck I had been thinking when I signed up. Others danced like twinkling lights filled with joy and wonder. These days I'd hardly noticed I'd showered before I was nestled, happily spent back in my bed. What a joy life could be. Now the task is done, like a humongous quilting project. I've both loved and hated the journey, but I wouldn't trade it now for the world. Time to sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labors.
That is exactly what it is, "fruit of my labors". Like a quiver filled with arrows, or a jar filled with freshly baked cookies, or a humongous quilt, my grown son is the result of many years of labor. I'm not saying that he is "done". Done is a place of mythology that we dream about when we're tired of the journey. We all hope and pray to arrive one day at the end of the road... a place where we can sit in the shade and sip something cool. A place where we can stop and tell stories about the amazing adventure that we have had. Maybe that is what heaven is like, but I don't think so. I believe the adventure keeps going. What I'm saying is that the work of parenting a boy from infancy to manhood is complete. Noah will never again be the little blue eyed boy that held my hand and told me funny stories. (Did you know that the end of your nose forms a lower case m? Or that you can strike out in air ball?).
He is a man. It sounds funny, but it is true. He could join the military and be stationed in a far away place - he'd be handsome in uniform, but he would hate it. He could decide to get married - he'd need a girl first. He could pack his bag and walk out the door, like a hobo from the 30's. He can do anything that he sets his mind to do.
In a way I'm jealous. It has been along time since I felt like the world was my oyster, like any thing was possible - as if I, like Archimedes, could move the world if given the place to stand. I know that is just hormones, or low blood sugar, or fatigue talking. With God all things are possible. When Moses was my age he was a nomadic outlaw watching sheep in the wilderness. You never know where the road may lead you. I pray that it always leads me home. I pray the same for my boys.
Maybe that is what parenting is all about. Home. Loving and protecting and nurturing a tiny squalling infant to the point where he or she could move the world. Home is the place to stand. Family is the crowd, loving and encouraging you to try. It doesn't matter if you succeed or not. The world is a very big place, and although your efforts may not result in a global shift, you will surely make an impact.

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