The lake spreads wide, and we ride along in our tiny fishing boat.
We are tiny, on the big lake.
My tiniest one is afraid. His life jacket does not comfort him like it comforts me. He climbs in my lap, and places my arms around his waist. “Mama, you be my seatbelt,” he says. He settles back into me, and watches the glory of the summer day pass by, in safety and confidence now; now that he is tucked in my arms, now that mama is his seatbelt.
Yes, dear, I will be your seatbelt, gladly, while I still can. I nuzzle into his hair, breathing in the summer, lake, life, and little boy. I hold the moment close to me while I can, while my arms still reach around his little waist; while he still fits here, on my lap.
My tiniest one is outgrowing his seatbelt.
The waves come from the front, and more waves from the side. The boat suddenly jerks, and I fly off my seat, tiny one smashes into the side of the boat. He shows me his bruise, angry with me. Mama's seatbelt didn't hold. I glare at my husband, angry with him. Where's my seatbelt?
The tiniest one climbs back on my lap, and we continue on, though not without prayers from my mother-heart. We speed along the miracle of the giant lake, upheld in our little boat. Where can we go, but forward? To Whom shall we cling as we fly along? Our Creator and Father shines the sun down upon us, as we consider His ways, meditate on His works. We ride on his works; we swim in them and float on them and watch them fly overhead and make them into castles and watch them destroy our castles.
Tomorrow, it will be time to unbuckle the last seatbelt.
Tomorrow, my youngest goes to kindergarten.
Mothers are not made to be seat belts forever.
And so, we go forward, the children to school, and me, into the next season of life. We go forward, but not without many prayers from my mother-heart.
Take my children and all children into your loving hands as they begin a new school year. Guard them from danger, bless them with good friends and kind teachers; grant them bodies full of health, and minds full of wonder and joy in learning. As they outgrow their motherly seatbelts, grow them up in You, that your grace may be the air they breathe and the cool water in which they swim each day.
Father, take this mother, and all mothers, into Your loving hands, too. Grant us the grace to flex with the needs of our families, and the eyes to see your grace and blessings in each season of our lives. Refresh us, Lord, and quench our thirst as we drink deeply from Your Word each day. Be our anchor in the days of change, and fix our hearts where true joys are to be found: In Jesus, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.