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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Simple pleasures (goodbye golden summer)…

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV)

This is a summer I’ll not soon forget. It is the summer our eldest tested her wings, working at her first job, earning and spending her own money, chasing a little freedom. It is the summer I spent nearly every day with my not-baby boy, watching him grow. We’d walk in the mornings, sometimes run, ride bikes, make plans, create adventures, luxuriate by the pool. Now he’s off to camp. It’s time to let him go.

Double Hug by Thomas Blackshear,
from my personal collection.
They’re not my babies anymore…

Remembering that “the Christian spirit is not…selfish..." 
I am able to focus on joy

He has cared for me. Practicing to be a man, he models his behavior on his dad and grandfathers. He is conciliatory, concerned, facilitating. I’m as as independent as ever, but gracious enough to let him “do his thing.” Frankly, I’ve gotten spoiled. Now he’s off to camp. It’s time to let him go.

Teasing, I keep reminding him that I’m going to miss him, that I’ll be a little lonely. Truthfully, I will. We’ve had the precious gift of unhurried time, to talk at length, to discover things together, to read to one another, share, learn. We’ve disagreed, and defended our positions vigorously. I will never like spaghetti tacos, but I giggle even at the thought of them. It’s been a golden summer, but it’s time to let him go.

He’s off to do new. This camp is one of his favorite experiences, and he’s headed back for a triumphant 4th season. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I can’t wait to see him grow.

Reading Hebrews 10, I am reminded by Matthew Henry, “the Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit..." and I am able to focus on the joy. It's been a precious golden summer, but it's time to let go. 

My boy celebrated a birthday and has grown an inch or two. I sense the specter of a man I will soon fall in love with, and adore for the rest of my life. My little boy is going away like my golden summer, and it’s time to say “farewell.”
Finally, I am reminded of the wisdom my mommy gave me at bedtime, when she read to me from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.

“Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”
― Khalil Gibran

I will let my bending in The Archer’s Hand be for gladness.  I am the stable bow...loving the arrows as they fly away...remembering, as they soar to heights unimagined, that God is good.

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