Monday, June 27, 2011

Raising Boys: Preparing for Take Off in its Various Forms

As we gathered around the table to eat breakfast this morning, I mentally prepared myself to mentally prepare my oldest for a monumental first:

going to Vacation Bible School with a friend {and without mommy}.

We went over the basics tenents of going to VBS with friends as he excitedly chowed on his oatmeal and granola:

Me: Remember to stay--

G: with my group.

Me: And treat others the way--

G: I want to be treated.

Me: And don't leave with anyone-

G: Only Miss Melissa. Or you. Or daddy.

Me: Right. And have fun.

G: I'm going to have the most fun!

Right. I know, I thought; he will have fun. And he will most likely be fine. And while he's off having his fun I'll be thinking about how four years ago, I was still growing his little body inside my stretching abdomen ... about how we were two wrapped in one and I could hold him snugly within the safety of my own body.

As he all but bounded out of our own car and into Melissa's van, Melissa's son and G began talking about Legos and Lego magazines and what they would do at VBS.

My heart leaped into my throat -- when did my firstborn get old enough to swap Lego magazines with Melissa's oldest son in the backseat of her minivan on the way to Vacation Bible School -- without me?

Before I shut the door of the van, my oldest hugged me, gave me a kiss, smiled and bid me farewell, telling me he'd see me after school.

And though my eyes were brimming with the wetness of tears as I backed out the driveway, I couldn't help but smile at the sweetest of this reality as I recalled our breakfast conversation and the banter between the older kids as we loaded them up for the ride:

This is what we've been doing for the past four years -- preparing him to take these steps into the unknown, into the unfamiliar with excitement and zeal all while making sure he knows there's a soft space at which to land after the adventures are exhausted.