I am learning a thing or two about detachment, but oh, how I wish I were ignorant in this regard! You see, I have a teenage son, a normal, rebellious boy. I'm not allowed to talk to him in public, and it seems, no matter what I say to him, my words are skewed into condemnation. His favorite sayings seem to be "Everyone in this family hates me! Everyone is against me! No one understands me!" And then he slams a door to drive his point home. (I know he doesn't believe it when I say that I do understand him, because wasn't it just yesterday when I was that rebellious teenager throwing tantrums and slamming doors?)
This morning as I sat beside him in silence at his high school orientation, I longed to reach over and hold his precious hand, his beautiful hand that once upon a time would wrap it's chubby infant fingers around my thumb. Now, that hand is nearly twice as large as mine, he towers over me in height; his growth spurt seemed to happen in an instant. But, he's still my baby...always my baby, and letting him grow into manhood, into his own person, is so incredibly hard! I swallowed the lump in my throat as he walked among the crowd of his teenage peers and into his first day of high school.
Every now and then I catch a glimpse of the sweetness that exists under the veneer of tough attitude that he displays for the world. I know that his heart is kind and gentle. I watch him teaching math facts to his little sister and hear him cheer up his little brother when frustration overcomes. There are moments when he will quietly slip into the kitchen, grab a towel and dry the dishes for me without my having to ask for help. And most moving of all, sometimes I catch him deep in prayer, pouring his worries and wonders out to the Almighty, the only one in whom he seems to confide in this turbulent age.
How I long for those tender moments to last, to overshadow the "growing up and away" stage in which he currently finds himself. Lord, let me hold on to him for just a little while longer. I want to stroke his cheek, snuggle close and share a story or a lullaby with him. I want him to be my little boy for just a short while more until You lead him away to a life of his own. And when the time comes and I must finally let go and watch him enter adulthood, give me the grace to turn him over to Your loving protection, trusting that even when he becomes a man, he will always be Your little boy. Amen.