This child is not one to wear his heart on his sleeve. He is more fighter than lover. In the past, he’s shown love in many ways, like singing with me to the car radio. Still, his status quo is to forgo the mushy stuff and put on the brave I’m-really-10-years-older-than-I-am face.
But lately? This 11 year old has been living love to me like I’ve not seen since the toddler years. He snuggles me. He tells me he loves me multiple times a day. He asks my advice.
And he listens to what I say. Sometimes.
His passionate personality knows no middle ground. This child has a strong willed nature that runs a mile wide and I’ve been on my knees more than a few times begging for parenting smarts. When times are hard I can feel like I’m not qualified to parent a fence post much less any child.
Then God gives a gift of grace here and I get to see some fruit from these prayers. God is refining our boy and filling in the gaps. Some of our words and the Word are sinking in. I’m relishing this season when he is putting his passion towards a little demonstrative love rather than something negative.
“Like a gifted gardener, a mother’s role in nurturing her children is both difficult and delightful. Sometimes we get to enjoy beauty and sweet fragrance, and other times we’re sweating and pulling weeds in the heat of the day.”
Scharlotte Rich from The Promise of a Mother’s Prayers
We aren’t done yet, and heaven knows there’s still opportunity to do some (more) damage. Those teen years are coming and we have plenty of time for him to ping pong back and forth between his desire to grip childhood and grab adulthood. That strong willed nature isn’t gone for good; we will butt heads again. Just the same, I’m treasuring these times now, enjoying the fragrant garden after a season of serious weed-pulling. I don’t know how long it’ll last…maybe ’til tomorrow or maybe much longer. So, I’m going to savor and stockpile this ’til I’ve got a good deposit for those days when he wants to withdraw some independence and keep Mama distant.
Are you in a season of parenting weed pulling? Do you feel like all the yanking in the world won’t make those stubborn weeds give way? Take heart! That’s the perfect spot to be in for God to do His thing. You don’t have what it takes on your own, but He has what it takes and then some. Keep pulling and pruning and watering. Invest time and effort and attention into your children and the fruit will come. Pray for them in your quiet time, in the car, in their beds as they sleep. Allow mistakes for your kids and yourself. Model His mercies that are new every morning and His unlimited do-overs.
And watch your garden grow.