We are entering this new season in our life. A season where we pray that our training sticks, where we trust the Lord with the lives of our young adults more wholly, where we have to let go in order to let them fly and grow. I can feel the change happening, I’m watching it as if it’s not my life, curiously. I tried to explain it to my 16 year old, the difference in my protective instinct over my little ones as compared to him and his older brother. I failed. It’s impossible to not sound detached and uninterested. That’s not it. It’s just the process of letting these boys become men. It’s allowing them to make their own choices, knowing now that my words have impact but are not law. They have to chose their way, they have to decided to stay on the straight and narrow, they have to decide to be MEN. My husband I have always had the mind set that it’s better to let them make dumb choices now while they are still under our care so we can help them through it. It seems like all the dumb choices Mr. Taffy and I made happened when we were newly married.
Our sons are being raised to be hard-working, God-fearing Providers. I stress the Provider part often. I’ve met several mom’s who have grown children, her children aren’t able to homeschool her grandchildren because “they have to work.” I’m doing my part now to prepare my sons to be providers so that my grandchildren aren’t in daycare. I know there’s always exceptions to what I consider perfect and all that, but I’m talking about making choices now that will allow them to live how they want when they are older. My boys are smart, they know. They watched their dad struggle through unemployment and they still saw the value of me being home. They even saw it the other day when I casually mentioned getting a part-time cleaning job, Mr. Taffy was a little annoyed at me for even mentioning it. (Gotta love job security!) I talk about these things a lot, about their lives as married men. I know they might not get married, but both of them want too, so God-Willing, when they do they will be more prepared.
We had an interesting experience the other day. We were at the beach and the older boys had a nice game of soft ball going on in the grassy area. They just use plastic balls and bats so they don’t hurt anybody. A couple of very LOUD and RUDE women came up and commanded that they move their game because, “this is a beach, not a baseball field.” Then they proceeded to plop down all their beach towels and bags in the grass, not the sandy area near the water. The guys were so offended and upset by this. Not because of what they asked but because of their approach. Our boys would have cheerfully and respectfully moved their game had the women been kind and respectful. (And you should know, they did the right thing, they were just pretty mad about it.) Everywhere my sons go they are praised for their respectfulness. They have good eye contact, strong hand shakes, can string together a whole slue of words without saying “like” once. Respect begets respect. Kindness begets kindness. Talk to a teen like an adult, they will talk to you like an adult. Give them responsibilities, they will be responsible. This is our approach.
Banana Taffy is working two jobs currently. It’s a good reality check for him. Entering this realm of being really tired, working really hard. It’s been good for him. Since he’s not totally on his own, I’m still a little protective of his time and he is not keeping both jobs when school starts back up, but he has expenses: insurance, gas, college, his Compassion Child, etc. So he works, he works hard. I still do his laundry, I still feed him, he still has chores and responsibilities at home, he’s still accountable to us. But he’s moving toward that independence that is inevitable and welcome on some levels. It’s just sobering. Hoping and praying and believing and trusting that we’ve raised him right, that he will continue on with a PERSONAL relationship with the Lord, that he will make good choices, that he will be sober-minded and cautious, that he CONSULTS the Lord with his concerns and LISTENS for an answer and then obeys.
It is such a privilege to raise these young people. It’s a privilege to listen to their plans and dreams, to guide them and nurture them, to mother them. I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing.
*Thanks Dory for the inspiration! Love you!