Hayden has always been a dreamer and a builder. And I have always been a skeptic and a pessimist. That’s why I cringed when he brought home two large rusted lockers that had been discarded and a 2 by 7 piece of wood with the idea of building his own desk. If you think that made me shake my head no on the inside, you can imagine my internal reaction when he started buying parts (many, many parts) to build his own computer.
I didn’t score an “A” for encouragement in either of those plan announcements.
The best I did was keep my mouth shut. I refrained from saying things like
“That desk is going to take up your entire room”
“How much money have you spent on this so far?”
“Are you sure this is going to work?”
Ok. Not really.
I said all of those things. But I didn’t brow beat the boy this time.
Because in a few short months Hayden will be eighteen.
And because he was paying for it.
And maybe most important, why not?
Was it possible that the desk would become a gianormous fixture that would overwhelm his somewhat small room?
Was it likely that he’d bust his computer budget and run out of money?
Was it probable that he would find himself in a slightly tragic situation where he’d spent hour upon hour and dollars upon dollars to build his own computer and then it not work?
Mm hmm. (Does he even know how much those things cost?)
That’s why not.
I knew lots of good reasons why my soon-to-be eighteen year old shouldn’t be let loose to create catastrophe.
But a small voice inside urged me to throw caution to the wind.
It was the same voice I heard years ago as I stood in the checkout line at Walmart. As the last few items ceased their ride on the counter conveyer belt, I noticed Hayden lifting up the thick black belt and peering underneath studying exactly how toothpaste and cereal boxes got from point A to point B (the cashier).
Never in all my years have I had the slightest bit of curiosity about such a thing. But he did. And in that moment I remember being struck at his intrigued nature. And I remember the notion being impressed upon me to let him be. This was one of the many times I realized my problem of getting right smack in the middle of something God might be doing with him.
Too many times I’ve interfered. In my mind it’s my job to prevent failure, but so many times I sabotage his opportunity to grow and to learn.
Experience and growth are things we can count on happening when we as parents ever so often listen to the still small voice that tells us to let them be.
Their successfully doing what they set out to do isn’t always the true goal. The attempt to do things they have yet to do before will grow them.
Allowing them to do things that you never did, or your friends’ kids never did will give them unique experience.
And (I hate this one…..But) failure will
grow them and give them experience to guide them.
If his self-made computer ended up not working after taking up a couple of hard-earned paychecks, he’ll have learned.
And so it goes with a computer made with his own hands that works like a charm.
So as Paul says in Philippians 1,
peace to you from God….
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6
-Thankful we can be partners in the gospel of grace; showing that God continues to do a good work even in slow learners like myself.
P.S. Can’t close without telling you. After two days of putting together a hundred tiny pieces of “things” and consultations with two computer geeks, Hayden’s computer is up and running. I’ll take one hole punch on my mama brag card.
-Hayden approved this message.
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