Rain! We thought the rain would never stop. It seemed to rain every day for over a week. All the while, our lawn continued to grow and grow. When there was finally a break in the rain, the lawn seemed to stand two feet tall.
Our oldest son has taken on the responsibility of mowing the lawn. He was so happy when his dad told him that he could mow on his own. He longs to please his dad. He longs to make him happy. He longs for his approval. Of course, he doesn't have to mow in order to do or receive any of those things. He has been a daddy's boy since the day he came into the world and we found out we had a son.
Our son went out to tackle mowing the lawn. He had been asking me every day if he could mow and today I was finally able to say yes, that it was dry enough. He had been out there mowing for about 20 minutes when he came in for a drink. He was dripping with sweat. My heart sunk for my boy, for how difficult the task he was attempting to complete.
I told him that I would help him, so he could have breaks. That working together we would get the job done quicker and without either of us getting heat exhaustion. He didn't want to agree, but he did.
For an hour, we took turns. We own a simple push mower, not self-propelled. Our lawn has a small hill in the corner. A hill that we all enjoy in the winter when there is snow, but not so much in the summer when we have to mow.
My son was pushing the mower up the hill. He was struggling. He was pushing with all his might. I could see the determination on his face. I stepped forward and then stepped back. I wanted to help him. I still see my little boy. I don't like watching him struggle.
There, in that moment, I realized I had a choice. I could go rescue him like he was my little boy, or I could let him work hard, with all his determination, and become the young man he so longs to be.
I may no longer get hugs and kisses. He no longer reaches up for my hand. I may no longer have the affections I had from my little boy. But what I do have is the occasional cuddles on the couch. He doesn't make it obvious. He is very subtle. He grabs a book, slides in by my side and shares a blanket with me. These moments I cherish, for these moments will be gone quicker than I want to acknowledge.
I want him to grow up. I want him to be a man. I want him to be the protector of his family. I want him to know what it feels like to work hard. I want him to appreciate the success of getting a job done. I want him to grow up to be a strong man of God. In order for that to happen, I need to learn to take a step back.I need to let go of my little boy, tuck those memories away to be cherished forever, and look forward to watching him grow into a young man.