The Sideline

Written by Kristin Orphan,

Yesterday, I invited my youngest daughter to go bowling.  She said, “With who?”  I responded, “With me.”  She said, “Anyone else?”  I said, “No.”  I actually was quite entertained by that exchange, because I understand that we are in a new season of life with three teenagers and a “middle schooler” bringing up the rear.  Gone are the days when they want to be with just mommy.  One of my fondest memories of my now sixteen year-old son, is when he came home from his first day at kindergarten.  He plopped down on the couch looking exasperated.  I asked him how his first day of school went and he replied, “It was a lot of wook (work) and I just want to be with you mom.” Then, there was the time my now fifteen year old daughter said disgustedly of her siblings, “Why can’t it just be me and you, mom.”
Well, the tide has turned and now naturally, they are expanding their horizons.  Their friends are taking center stage and they are finding their own unique interests and passions.  Today, rather than letting my feelings get hurt or grieving over lost yesterdays, I’m choosing to celebrate.  I celebrate that my children know I am available to them.  I celebrate that I seized the moments when they wanted to play baseball on the lawn, restaurant in the playhouse or slide monster at the park.
The job looks different now, though nonetheless important.  While I do not go everywhere they go, they bring with them their values, wisdom and identity. By God’s grace, those are gifts my husband and I have given them.  So, I guess in a sense, I do go with them.  With all of their new experiences, we have plenty to talk about during those treasured moments when they ask for advice and share their struggles.
“So, my children go ahead and explore the world to your hearts’ content.  I’ll be right here when you need me.”