There’s a post going around on Facebook and Pinterest called “The Last Time” It details the last time you will hold your sleeping child, or the last time your child crawls in bed with you at night, etc., as your child grows up. We don’t know when those last times will be, until that time has passed.
Today is a “First Time” in our household. Today my son Robbie begins his first day at work, at his first job. This afternoon I will pick him up, and take him to work. One day soon, he will be driving, and I won’t be picking him up anymore.
Hopefully this job will create “The Last Time” we give him pocket change. Though I doubt that’s ever going to be the case! Being the last child in the house has its advantages, and I struggle with spoiling him.
But I’ve always tried to be the kind of Mom who enjoyed her child being able to grow, do, and go. I also like to be there whenever possible to watch him fly. When I take him to work this afternoon, I will have to drop him off, and leave him to fly without Mom’s watchful eye. That part of being a good parent is hard. I want to watch him succeed (and be there if and when he falls), but in order for him to succeed at this, to truly grow up and become a man, I have to let go.
Yesterday, we had to put Robbie’s very ill cat to sleep, and Robbie was there with me as we said our final goodbyes. He was the one who chose the burial plot under a tree in our back yard. And he was the one who dug the hole. After we buried his pet, holding my hand, Robbie prayed over the little grave, and thanked God for all the joy Gary the cat brought to us. He then asked God to allow Gary to bring joy to others in Heaven. As his mother, my grief over losing such a sweet cat, surged into pride mixed with tears of joy, because I suddenly realized that my son had grown into a strong, Christian young man before my eyes, and I hadn’t recognized it.
And so I have to ask myself, “When was ‘The Last Time’ Robbie was still a boy, and not yet a young man?”
That young man is who I will be dropping off at work this afternoon. So when I drive away, fighting the urge to linger (and if I’m honest with myself, fighting the flow of happy, proud tears), look back, or even stay to watch from afar, I know Robbie will stand strong for Christ and let others see Christ in him. And I’ll be praying for him when I leave, just as I prayed for him after he went to school this morning.
I’m sure there will be many days when the child takes over and I don’t see the young man anymore. Days when I pull my hair out, wondering where his brain is hidden (on his bedroom floor under all the dirty clothes perhaps?). He is only fifteen years-old, and he still has a lot of growing up to do. But the most important thing is, Robbie’s on the right path. When a child is walking the right path, he is walking into the best future you could ever hope for him.
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6