Monday, June 20, 2011

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be rescue heroes…

Masculinity is a wonderful, terrifying thing.
My tough little boy asked me, “Mama, are rescue heroes real?”
“Sure, honey, they are real.  Every day people work as soldiers, police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics- those are real live rescue heroes.”
He smiled, and stuck out his chest a little bit. “I want to be a rescue hero.”

I smiled, but felt a twinge of something in my heart.  Words meant to discourage him just a tiny bit almost made it to my lips, but I swallowed them down.

I respect the brave “rescue heroes” of the world, of course.  Where would we be without soldiers and paramedics and police officers and fire fighters?  Their commitment to protect and defend, to rescue and help, even when it jeopardizes their own lives, blesses us all in ways we could never even number.  I lecture myself in my head, but before I have convinced myself he yells,

“I could be a soldier mommy!  Like daddy!”
I stayed silent.
Oh my dear baby, please not that. 

I thank God for the soldiers, I am glad there are so many willing to go fight and protect our country in distant lands.  But please, God, don’t take mine.  “Not my husband,” said my heart back in 2004.  “Not my babies either,” says my heart today.
The world needs manly men.  We need those willing to protect, defend, risk, and even fight “naughty guys” when it is necessary. I nurture these strange little boys and attempt to direct their budding masculinity in the ways that it should go.  The future savers-of-the-world make their big plans, and the selfishness of my heart is revealed once again as I attempt to possess that which is not mine.

Heavenly Father,
Bless these little boys that you have given to this selfish mother.  Forgive me for my desire to possess them when they are truly Yours.  Lead me as I lead them Lord.  Give me wisdom to withhold my anxious thoughts when those thoughts will do them harm.  Help me to know when to encourage, when to discipline, and when to simply send them to daddy with the questions.  Thank you Father for your protection, help, love, and rescue of me and those I love, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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