One day you’ll be texting back and forth with your child because it may be your only remaining form of communication. And you’ll be thankful for it.
And one day, maybe come graduation, you’ll find yourself questioning your parenting, even more than you do now, because you’re worried that all your teachable moments are gone.
And one day you’ll remember back on all the things that you thought were important at the time, and realize they weren’t. And you’ll ask yourself if you taught your child everything there was to teach, in time for him to use it.
Y’all, I’m there. And I’m asking myself if I brought my son along with me, into adulthood, with all the knowledge and skills it’s going to take to make it once he heads out of the house for college in 3 months. It may be too late now. Maybe all my teaching days are over and now it’s time to enforce the lessons, and correct the ones he’s not quite getting the hang of. And I’m finding this part of motherhood not only scary, but humbling. Because he’s now a reflection of what I’ve poured into him for the last 18 years. And what’s shining back at me is, at best, a mixture of all my parenting investments, and his choice to apply it.
Did I teach him to be kind and respectful? Did I teach him to stop and think and, oh my gosh,… to reason? Did I teach him to be calm and thoughtful? Did I teach him to problem solve and even bigger, relationship solve?
Did I teach him to think of others before himself, or at least equally as himself? Did I teach him to give, and humbly receive the gifts of others? And did I teach him that this world is not his, it doesn’t revolve around him – that he’s simply a part of it, placed here to contribute? And did I teach him his worth, not just build up his confidence with overflowing praise?
Did I teach him that strength and weakness go hand in hand, and they walk together toward compassion? Did I teach him to listen – and to speak only the things that can build up himself and others? Did I teach him the value of being still and waiting for life’s opportunities to call his name? And did I teach him how to choose between right and wrong…because this is huge. And the line is fine, and he can fall over the edge at any time.
I think mostly today, after the morning we had at our house, I’m asking myself if I’ve taught my boys how to be men of character – men that can navigate their lives toward being successful, productive members of society, and hopefully, one day, leaders in their own families.
I’ve decided that questioning is normal, especially when I feel like time ran past me without giving me a warning. Kid 1 graduates high school in 2 weeks and I have to trust that at this point, I’ve laid a solid foundation for him, and that the time has come for him to build on it.