We've been in Huntsville today visiting the college kiddo. We took him out to eat at Double Dave's Pizza; the same spot we took him in fifth grade when he got into his first fight. He took his punishment and then we took him out for pizza. He fought a kid who had thrown rocks at him and a fifth grade girl (the boy had also spoke inappropriately to the girl). I called home and told my family about it. I'd taught the kid to NEVER fight. My brother, proud, made me promise I'd give him some quarters and let him play a few video games on him. Let's just say our pizza brought back memories.
I also took Hayden to Target today. We got what he needed and I let him fill the basket with things he wanted (like a family-sized bag of Oreos). I helped him carry his bags back to his dorm room, leaving something with him as we prepared to go. I looked at his room trying to commit it to memory in order to carry something of him back home with us. He has his Texas flag hanging above his bed, and on his whiteboard he has a copy of his first parking ticket (and I hope the last).
Leaving was hard again. This time was different as I realized that him living somewhere else is the new normal. "This is permanent," I said to myself.
The thing is, I miss him. But I don't think that's the hardest part of this deal. I don't like things outside my control.
When you have little ones you feed them, you put them to bed, you make the rules, you hold their hands.
There are those green beans you can't get them to swallow and their bedroom that stays a mess even with your warnings of grounding them if they don't clean it up.
But if they outgrow their shoes you run to the store to get new ones. They're never without their seatbelt. When you find out from another adult that a teacher has unnecessarily bullied your kid you go up to the school and lose your cool setting things straight (you shouldn't of course, but when you're a mom...sometimes you do).
There gets to be a time when no manner of hand-holding or mama-bearing protects them. You're no longer in control, much less in charge.
The two road trips (so far) coming back home after leaving Hayden have reminded me of this. I think about him driving back home to see us. There are few passing lanes. Much of the road doesn't have cell reception. I can't tell him to watch out for that car or remind him to slow down for that railroad crossing outside of Livingston that jumps up out of nowhere.
Today on the way home I saw a small figure standing in the middle of the highway. I yelled and Jason quickly pulled the car over. A toddler then started to move, making his way across the highway towards an oncoming red truck. Thankfully the red truck was able to get stopped. Jason scooped the boy up whose diaper I could now see sticking out of his camo shorts. He carried him back across the highway where his dad and mom were approaching realizing what had happened.
Minutes passed before we could even process what had just happened. God's hand was clearly on that baby.
We think we're in control. We hope we watch closely enough and make all the right rules to keep them safe.
But then comes a moment of sobriety.
We're never really in control. We make decisions that impact the wellness and safety of our families and even our own lives, but we are limited. We depend on a higher power.
Thankfully there is a higher power.
Behold these are the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14
I think he thundered today.
I'd be lying if I said I always live like I believe in his protection, his provision. That doesn't make his omnipotence any less real.
God is in control. This doesn't mean that my kids won't ever go astray. It doesn't mean that they won't get in a fight or find themselves in harms way. It means they will never leave God's watchful eye.
The eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him-those who depend on His faithful love. Psalm 33:18
I'm going to believe it until I feel it.
Today has reminded me to open up my closed-fists and hand over what has always belonged to God.
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