Abby blooms up before me like a lily,
sponging up everything I say,
asking me why and what’s that mean?
All this as I look every night in the mirror to see more wrinkles, just a touch of silver at the hairline. Her moon waxes as mine begins to wane; she’ll tower over me before long.
Ben comes to find me in the bathroom to tell me what he’s been thinking about: his theological musings. His eyes so earnest, and I bend down to look in them so he knows I’m listening. I don’t do that enough.
Susanna towers over her little friends. Each of our four is so tall, and I wonder where they’ll go, how high they will reach in this world. What heartaches await them? What heights will they reach?
Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing at all with this parenting gig and then sometimes, I look around and think, “we’re going to be ok.”
The worries that keep me up at night are did we teach them kindness? Did we teach them how to stand up for themselves? For others? Did we give them character? Did we raise them in Christ, or just in church?
But I know this: they catch more than we teach. It starts with me. Am I kind? Am I standing up for myself? For others? Do I have character? Am I living Christ, or just going to church?
The immensity of parenting can be crushing. But it starts with bending down, listening, being present.
And on the plus side, sharing can be checked off the list:
Susanna told me just this morning, “I picked a booger from my nose and I gave it to my friend Halle, and she ate it!”