I’m old enough to know that every human being has their strengths and weaknesses, but somehow I find myself wanting my children to excel in everything. This morning I could’ve torn a few handfuls of my hair out because of #1 son’s reluctance to do his schoolwork. I often shudder when I look at his messy handwriting. My blood pressure increases every time he goes into ‘drama mode’ and wails “I can’t do it!” over and over again about some math problem that he did perfectly well the day before.
Today in gym class, however, I got to see him shine. I forgot all about his atrocious handwriting, his moodiness, and his rebellious nature…and just–watched. I watched in amazement as the gymnastics coach (who let him sneak into the advanced gym class for an hour) called on him to demonstrate something new to the rest of the group, which was made up of boys a year or more older than him. Going from a ‘seated’ pose on the parallel bars to a handstand pose was something new for him. And while he still needed some help from the coach to get balanced, I could see the determination on his face. He seemed to be thinking, “Man, this is hard but I’m going to do it!” And this is often his thinking when it comes to physical challenges. He learned to walk at 9 1/2 months; he had 2 lessons with no training wheels and he learned to ride a bike; he taught himself how to ride a skateboard and skate on rollerblades. And for the past year or so, he’s been able to climb straight to the top of ANY playground stucture you can imagine–and I don’t mean climbing the steps, I mean climbing the supporting structures and getting ON TOP of the things you’re supposed to play inside of.
As a parent, and especially as a mother, I often find myself at a loss as to how appreciate this part of him–his real strength. I know I need to help him in his weaknesses, which I am too well aware of, but I also need to let him be who he his and cheer him on in his strengths. Once again, it’s back to getting more of my self out of the picture and letting God do his thing. He made my firstborn with great physical strength, agility, and bravery. He must have a purpose in it.
Lord, may he find Your purpose for him and let me not get in the way.