Twenty years ago today I gave birth for the first time, and held my son. I had no idea of how many delights and discouragements would come over the next twenty years. I had no idea that kids could be so much FUN, and I certainly didn't know how utterly wonderful newborn babies smelled. Ahhhhhhhh!
Now instead of giving my boy Barney tapes or Legos, I scour the Xbox 360 games. Instead of having a family dinner with special food and birthday cake, I must find out when the boy has classes or work schedules, and craft the celebration around his commitments. All this is as it should be, and I'm grateful that my son decided to take his general ed. courses locally and continue to live with us for a few more years.
I think that this whole young adult thing is a lot like when the kids were first learning how to walk. If I could have done it, I would have held their hands all the time to minimize falls. I always hated the learning to walk stage because I hated to see the kids get hurt. But they learned from their mistakes, and from their many attempts, both successful and unsuccessful. It seems to me, though, that from a mom's perspective this doesn't get any easier as the kids grow up. Ultimately all I can do is trust in my God to direct the paths of my children, just as He says He will in Proverbs 16:9, The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
I always get a little sentimental on the kids' birthdays. Fortunately for me, we have birthdays in every season! It's good to reflect back on the mercy of God in our lives - and the great blessings He gives us. Even hardships can and do work to mold us into the character of our Lord, if we let them.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable grace!