Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cutting the Apron Strings*

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

Joyfully,

Mrs. Taffy

*Thanks Dory for the inspiration!  Love you!

7 comments:

  1. You inspire me and I'm so thankful for your posts! I can't even begin to imagine this stage in life as my oldest is almost 6. Thank you for sharing and guiding those of us with younger children. I definitely want to be like you when I grow up!! :-)

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  2. I'm not sure I deserve that Annie, but thank you! I wonder how long until I feel grown-up! lol

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  3. Warning: Need tissue to finish this post! Wow! God inspired this post for sure! I love the statement "let them fly and grow".

    Such a good reminder to help our young men think in terms of "I'm going to be the provider"...that gives them purpose and hope!

    Your children are a blessing to society...to everyone they come in contact with...to all of us who know them...we are blessed!

    Such a good post...thank you a million times for posting it! (your welcome...love you bunches too...)

    P.S. I want to be just like you also...when I grow up!

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  4. I just know this is one of those posts that will stick with me for a very long time, touching. You are such an inspirational Christian, you are following the Bible as far as raising your boys ( children, I am sure ). It would be so much easier to guide their every step all the time, but, that could never turn out the way Godintends, they have to be able to function in this world, and it is our responsibility to " Cut The Apron Strings ". Question: How do you keep them in the word as they are getting busier with school, work, and the like. I'd also like to say, I was not at all surprised you were considering getting a part time job cleaning houses, the way you take care of your home, anybody would be blessed to have you in their home. truly it is inspirational to see a woman who homeschools, feeds, and makes sure her family has a clean home to live in. You are living out your God intended role for your children to see, and as a bonus your blog fans get a little glimpse at it too. Thanks for that. Sincerely, Kim

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    1. Well, Kim...it is a struggle to keep them in the Word as they keep getting busier and busier, but this is where we get to see how much our teaching actually went into their hearts. Do they still seek the Lord and read His Word when they are alone? As a family we do still read the Bible together most mornings, and if they are home they join us. But my hope is that they continue to seek the Lord into their adulthood and that they learn to seek out answers and wisdom in His Word and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. I'm sure their habits will fluctuate, just as ours have as adults. I'm not afraid if they stop reading the Word they will fall away. I just want them to have a really real personal relationship with the Lord and that is never going to happen if we are always in control of everything.

      Thank YOU for being so gracious with your words toward me!! God Bless YOU!

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  5. "Our sons are being raised to be hard-working, God-fearing Providers. I stress the Provider part often.I’m doing my part now to prepare my sons to be providers so that my grandchildren aren’t in daycare".

    As a mother of all daughters this brings joy to my heart. It is my daily prayer that my future sons-in-love are being raised to be providers also so that my grandchildren can be at home being raised by my daughters. While I want my daughters to pursue their dreams and careers I hope they will chose to stay home and raise their children and let their husbands provide.

    What a great post!

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  6. Loved this post! It is encouraging to see other parents with similar goals and beliefs! You are doing a great job, mom! They will be wonderful, God honoring young men that will bless families of their own someday. From a mom who has two girls, thank you! From a mom who also has two boys, may I be as diligent in teaching them!

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Your comments make me happy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!!