Friday, September 30, 2011

little hands growing big

The other night Aggie had a bad dream and asked me to lay in bed with her.  I snuggled up next to her, and in no time she was sound asleep again.  I was in a reflective mood that night, so instead of jumping up to go about my business, I stayed in bed for a long time with her, just thinking. 
I looked at her little hand in my hand.  I thought back to the days when it was tiny- not little.  When she only weighed 7 pounds and snuggled me every day—before she knew how to climb the walls and scare me to death.  She uses her little hands to play puzzles and color and get into trouble today. I remember when all she could do with her tiny hands was knock her pacifier out of her mouth without meaning to, then ball them up in fists of anger as she screamed for mommy to come to her rescue.

Why am I overcome with such profound sadness when I think of the children growing up?

Oh how I want them to remain innocent.  No I do not think they are sinless (ha!) but they are innocent of so much of the evil in the world.  They do not know what abuse is, or war, or even death.  Oh how I wish I could shield them from every one of those things.  Yet I am completely powerless.
How I wish their problems could remain so little!  “Seth stole my granola bar,” and “I can’t find my teddy bear blanket!”  These are such easy problems for a mom to fix!  Yet someday soon they will find much bigger problems, some with no answer this side of heaven.  Again, I am powerless, and they will find out that they are too.
This is indeed the most difficult thing about parenting.  As you carry your child, they rely on you for everything they need.  Yet as they grow, you learn to meet bigger needs, and then acknowledge some that you cannot meet.  You must learn to let go, to lean on others, to trust the Lord.  For the good of your child, you must learn to give bigger hands bigger jobs to do, even when you would rather just do the jobs for them.

Here I am with my own group of tiny hands to hold, for now, and some day to let go.  Their hands grow bigger each day, and all the more I realize that my hands are not big enough, not strong enough to hold and protect them.

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my children.  

I commend.  Help my un-commending.

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