Last night and this morning were a bit difficult for me.
I laid in bed, thanks to the prodding of a dear friend....(Yes, Travis I am talking about you - yes, you are being "busted" in this post), worrying about my son and if the "end is truly near" of the days of him wanting to spend time with us vs. taking off into his big world of social encounters in the land of middle school.
I'm not sure if some of you new readers know this about me, but I used to teach middle school. In fact, it was having Brayden that ended my teaching career...as far as having my own class is concerned. I appreciated being able to relate to kids of that age and being a beacon of stability in a world of chaos that is the changes, hormonal imbalances, and awkwardness of junior high. But, it also scared the snot out of me, in terms of having my own kids. If I'd had my own way, I probably would have opted out of having a girl based on how much chick drama I witnessed and how scared I was of being a parent of a pre-teen during those hostile years. (Needless to say, I thank God I have Mikayla, and and the older she gets, the less I worry....working on that whole "not borrowing trouble" thing).
We've recently started recognizing some "shifts" in Brayden. Whereas last year he was content to wait until the last minute for me to drop him off at school, now he's ready 30 minutes earlier, so he can meet his buddy a half a block away to walk together and hang out at the school with his other friends before it starts. Girls are becoming part of the conversation (particularly on Facebook). Yesterday, at the school "social", one of the girls he knows from youth group asked a boy to dance who said "no". She then turned to Brayden to have him save her from embarrassment and dance with her and he agreed. As a result, at the high school game he attended last night, she was constantly hugging him and he was getting pressure to "ask her out".
WOAHHHHHHH! Put on the brakes!!!!
I don't think he has any intention of doing so, but it's news like this that just puts a mom in a tailspin - especially when dear Travis spends the rest of the evening last night agonizing that our boy has already grown up, this is the end, and then relaying stories of when "life turned" for him at this age as well.
So, I borrow trouble. I ask myself when's the next time I can immerse him with just Traig and Andrew, the friends who will always be there for him and will slow this social progress with their interest in video games and Minecraft. I wonder if there's a way we can drop him off at Harlow in June and lock the gates so that's the only contact he receives for an entire summer - ensuring that he's "being fed" and his social encounters are only with folks who also have a love for the Lord. I mentally put my foot down on the idea of him taking a trip across the country with the school - ever - even though my own parents bravely set us off in an airplane to Washington D.C. at the end of our 8th grade year.
When push comes to shove, I worry -
Will Brayden succumb to peer pressure and say or do something he later regrets?
Does he have wise discernment on who he's choosing to hang out with?
Does he fully, absolutely, completely know that God is in control and this world is just temporary - even though every fiber in his being screams at him to "live for the moment"?
Does he still want to hang out with us and how long will that last?
Will he eventually rebel against our boundaries and limits and will our "no's" tear a hole in a relationship that up until now has been almost void of any anger towards us or words that are mean-spirited?
I think you get the gist.
Times are a'changin' - this I know for sure. But potentially the worst thing I can do about that fact is to panic about it and start worrying about what could be. So far, nothing about our kids has ever turned into the fears I've created in my mind, so there's no reason to believe that will change now. From everything we see in Brayden, his heart is still as tender and full as we've always loved about him. So, as lovingly as I can say this - Travis, shut up. We're all going to get through this....with a whole lot of prayer.