Friday, April 27, 2007

Easing the Grip

Whoo hoo! It's Friday!!!! My favorite day of the week is here and I am ready to begin my free time. I still have a few hours left at work, but I intend to spend a large portion of that time daydreaming about the weekend. I like to get home on Friday and mow the lawn before Trevor and the kids get home so that we can enjoy a pleasant evening outside with the smell of fresh cut grass in the air. Maybe I'll stop and get a few steaks on the way home and set up the table outside and we'll eat on the deck tonight.

Last night I eased my grip on Nathan just a little. He asked me if he could ride his bike, and I finally relented after a quick review of the rules. "Do we talk to strangers in cars? No. What do we do if we see a car? Pull over to the side of the road and stop. What do we do if a stranger in a car follows me? Go to Uncle Will's or come home...whichever is closer. Where are we allowed to ride? From my house down to Uncle Will's and back." I guess I was hoping that all of the rules would discourage him from actually wanting to ride his bike, but my ploy did not work and off he went. I watched from the porch as he made his first trip down the street and back and then made myself go in the house.

Five minutes later I was back out on the porch looking for him, but didn't see his bike anywhere. I could feel the knot forming in my stomach, but willed myself to be calm and to not assume the worst. Sure enough, he had just stopped at Will and Charly's for a minute to chat and I couldn't see him in the driveway. Danger averted.

I went inside after admonishing him to stay on the road where I could see him and sat down again. Five minutes (and an amused look from Trevor) later I got up to check on him. He was still riding and doing just fine. There were no pedophiles or kidnappers in sight so I relaxed a little and went back inside.

I sat for as long as I could stand it (I might have made it to 6 minutes) and then went to check again. My baby was nowhere in sight. No Nathan. The knot tightened and I resisted the urge to scream his name. I forced myself to be reasonable and calm. "Check the gate to the backyard", I reasoned. "Maybe he is finished riding and is putting his bike away." Sure enough, there he was on the deck engaging the kickstand and preparing to go inside. When he looked up and saw me standing there, I pretended like I was just closing the gate for him. As I walked across the driveway I said a quick prayer of thanksgiving for his safe return.

When I went back inside, I felt weak in the knees. Trevor saw the look on my face and quickly said, "He just came in the back door!" I told him that I had seen him, then relayed the panicked moments standing in the driveway. I know it sounds like I'm weirdly overprotective but I am actually much better than I used to be. Believing that God is sovereign and that no matter what happens He is in control, has helped me let go a little. He has given me my children for a set time, and only He knows when that stewardship will end. My hope is that they will grow into adulthood but I also know that I have to give Nathan and Grace room to grow and do things on their own. I protect them in every way that I can, but in the end I have to rely on God for the ultimate outcome.

So my prayer is for peace when I want to worry. Turning all the things I worry about (and believe me, it's more than just the kids!) over to God is the only way to obtain true peace and satisfaction. It's a lesson that comes with more than a little difficulty for me, but it's worth learning.

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