….And they shall dwell in their parent’s basement forever….
I remember when the kids were born, the first two especially, there was some powerful maternal instinct going on and some feelings, a need for control. I was going to protect those babies from dad himself if necessary. Dad was awesome, but you know, his hands were dirty after work, his beard was rough, he might drop them or fail to support their neck. Or heaven forbid, toss them in the air and not catch them. All kinds of irrational fears. Fortunately we were able to work through it and dad eventually got to hold his babies, change them, feed them, play with them.
I remember one time not wanting to leave to go to the store because dad didn’t know infant cpr and his first aid card had long since expired. What if they choke? Hubby just looked at me as if to say, well now you’re being neurotic and crazy. Of course I was, that’s what you do when you’re a mom.
It got easier and he never actually dropped any of our babies on their head. There were some moments of panic over the years, when he gave them a ride on his 3 wheeler or the back of his truck, but dad really helped to provide the balance that was needed. Without that harmony, I might have wrapped the kids in cotton and smothered them with hand sanitizer, trying to protect them from the world around us.
Being a mom, being a parent, is really about slowly letting go. Dad and I had a few power struggles along the way, but nothing, nothing like the struggle I have had with God to let go of them emotionally and spiritually now that they are grown. I can’t protect them anymore. I can’t ease their suffering. Seriously that is painful stuff, far worse than child-birth itself. Ha! I laugh at the pain of child birth. That was nothing. That was almost fun.
I am fortunate because I have the eyes to see how healthy it is to cut the apron strings, how necessary and vital for everyone’s well-being. I am also surrounded by examples of what can happen when you don’t or can’t. Really tragic, toxic situations, grown children now entangled in dysfunction, crippled really, because a parent could not let go. Still cannot let go. Sometimes the best thing you can do for them is to just walk away. Especially when they’re like, 38 years old.
Our roles have now shifted, hubby’s and mine. I am letting go and he is trying so hard to hang on, that last gasp effort before you begin to surrender to the truth. He does not understand what has changed, why I have changed. “You have to be their mom,” he tells me, desperately, as if I have fallen down on the job here. He has a long and painful road ahead of him while my journey is nearly finished.
It’s tragic, but it’s a bit comical too. I feel as if I am about five years into a heated cosmic custody battle with God Himself who keeps correcting me ever so gently, they’re not your kids, they are mine.
God has me wrapped tightly in the comfort and faith of Abraham, a father once called to give up his son, to let go and make the ultimate sacrifice, not your child Abraham, but mine. Later God Himself made that same sacrifice, giving us what was most precious to Him, His only begotten son.
I get that now, the price God paid, the sacrifice, the depth of love He has for us. He didn’t just give us anybody, He gave up His son, the best He had to give.