Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rite of Passage

It was hard to just walk away.

But yesterday, I put my twelve year-old son on our riding mower, blade turning, and did just that. I know, it sounds silly, but this was a big deal for me. Because images of my dad doing exactly that same thing don’t seem like that long ago.

I recall that day, over thirty-five years ago when my father entrusted me with the duty of mowing part of our large lawn in Louisiana. It felt like freedom to be driving a piece of machinery – and part of me couldn’t believe that he was letting me do it. I understand that more now, because I almost ran down the family dog that day (hey, it was an accident!). I wonder if he remembers running across the yard waving his arms at the dog to get out of the way… I sure do.

Nevertheless, as I am now on the downhill side of seeing my children through their years in my house (a fact which deeply saddens me), I get a little emotional when these little milestones are met. Just like watching my oldest daughter Molly drive a car for the first time, seeing my son carefully cruise around the lawn on a sixteen-horsepower piece of power equipment makes me proud – and fearful – all at the same time. Which is why it is hard for me to let him go around the corner, out of sight, all on his own, boy against the world. And that is an analogy for what my wife and I will do when we let him go out on his own in just a few short years.

Until then, I want to spend every moment preparing him for service in God’s creation – to glorify God above all, and serve others in a meaningful way – to make his life count for something eternal. These few years that we have with him under our roof will fly by. I want to make sure he is ready to go around the next corner.

Noah – congratulations on a job well done, and a rite of passage that is now at least two generations old in our family. You did a great job on the lawn, and didn’t cut off any fingers. What’s next?

1 comment:

Kara said...

I seriously think I will have to stop reading your blog (and Wendy's too) because you guys always make me cry! :-) Thanks for constantly reminding me to appreciate every moment with my little ones!

~ Kara