The other afternoon one of my sons walked into my bedroom with a question, "Mom, I don't want to be inappropriate but I need to know how to take care of my wife...why do women wear pads?" Wait?! What?! Back the train up. What wife and where did you hear about pads? How have I come to this place in my life that I am being asked these questions? What happened to my babies? As these questions surge through my brain, my heart pounds at an alarming rate. I don't know why I'm surprised, this particular child always has these kinds of questions.
The early years of motherhood are precious. No matter how tired you are, there is something life giving in the nestling of the sweet babe to your breast. We cheer them on in their first steps and exult in hearing them say, mama. Even the beginning of grade school is memorable as they bring home a hodge podge of art projects made from their small hand print & tales of their new best friend. Quickly though, in the busyness of life we notice they've gotten a little taller, the homework is harder and the toys stay put away. We wonder how we got here & begin grasping for any "cute" moment we can. Then BAM! The questions start coming. Inquiring minds want to know about hair in strange places, girls and other such adult issues that are rising up to meet them in the near future. They wonder the same things you & I have pondered, "Who am I?", "Am I good enough?", "What am I here for?". It doesn't matter how many books or blogs we read, our well-prepared minds falter in the presence of our hearts & souls. Emotions roll with the thought, "I'm not ready for this."
This is where I find myself. Two boys in middle school and my baby racing to keep up with his older brothers. I see a future of adolescents looming before me. Wait!!! I don't even have gray hair. I want to squish play dough & eat fruit snacks. At the same time I'm amazed at the young men that they are becoming. There is a big part of me that enjoys watching this God ordained process of growing up.
So how do I survive this season? No, wait, not just survive - but thrive. One of the Titus 2 women in my life once encouraged me to be open & forward in my discussions with the boys.
Honesty creates trust, which leads to continuing communication.
Honesty, in and of its self is not an issue for me; but forming spoken words can be difficult. Any conversation concerning sexuality has been embarrassing for me. Admitting my short comings is humbling and not having the right answer is frustrating. And I struggle to just listen without turning it into a parenting session.
Remember those glasses Nicholas Cage wears in National Treasure? They had multiple lenses that when aligned just right revealed the secret on the map. Honest conversations with our kiddos are just that. In the end, my boys aren't just my sons. I have to look at them through the lens of a parent but then add to my view the lens of brother in Christ. Honest conversations with them now are formative in building the ability to be iron sharpening iron in their future relationships. I can lay aside my own agenda, awkwardness and mistakes. Then I can listen. Then I can share confident but humble, Biblical answers. The key to this whole thing is sacrificial love. Which really brings us back to what motherhood is all about.
They're not going to stop growing up. So, whether they're asking about the "sticks of dynamite" under the bathroom sink, or why the boy next door is smoking pot, or who did God make them to be...I won't give up listening and practicing honest conversations with my sons.