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Writing is how I process.  So here goes.  I don’t know where this will lead me, but I’m struggling.  My youngest son turned 14 today.  That’s hard.  It’s glorious-hard, but it’s hard.  It’s not hard because of who he is.  That actually makes it a lot easier.  He’s sweet.  He’s loving.  He’s kind.  He gives great hugs.  And he still lives with me… but not for long.

I’ve been here before.  It was Forest.  3 years ago, when he was 15 and I realized that our time together would soon be gone.  And it hurt.  Suddenly (pretty much all at once) it occurred deep down in my soul that this kid that I have loved so ferociously, that I have sacrificed for and poured my heart and soul into nurturing, teaching and guiding, would soon be moving out and onto his own.  He would soon be his own man.

And that just happened.  And it is actually very beautiful and I love and treasure our new friendship (the kind where I don’t have to “parent” him anymore).

But I’m not ready to grieve again.  And this 14th birthday, it’s hitting me somewhere deep.  And I am grieving again.  I love this boy!  I love him, I love him, I love him.  This 14 year old man-child that I have snuggled and prayed over and taught.  I’m the one that taught him how to read, ride a bike, tie his shoe laces, scrub dishes and toilets.  I taught him how to seek God for things like self-control and mercy.  I taught him… well, I don’t even know what all I’ve had the privilege of teaching him.  But I am not only a teacher, I am also his mother.  His favorite lady.  I’ve watched him write stories and catch baseball games and pray for poor children in sweat shops.  I’ve seen his heart.  It is tender and I love it!

And now I stand, staring painfully at the next 4 years.  I know this pain.  I just finished walking through it.  It is hard and purifying.  It is beautiful and savory.  This pain is a good pain because it makes me feel deeply and love fervently and treasure like never before.  But it’s still pain.  And it still hurts.  And that’s where I’m at.

I’m not sure that really helped.  Processing, that is.  I am going upstairs to pray, while I can still pray over beds that holds my precious sons… 2 of them, at least.


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