I have one child, a son. He has been one of the great joys of my life ever since I first touched his tiny, damp, red, screaming face. He has also been one of my greatest challenges. I raised him to be an independent thinker, and sometimes I think I made him too independent. I raised him to realize that we each have to carve out our own ways through life; no one can do it for us. I raised him to believe that if he is a moral, Christian man that even if his decisions are not those that I would have made; I'm not whose opinion matters: God's is. I raised him to beat his own drum and go his own way.
Sometimes that has been painful for me...as I have watched him struggle to find his way...as I have watched him make mistakes...and get hurt...and pick himself back up. What mother would not rather keep her baby's knees from getting bloody in the first place instead of being there with a band-aid when they do.
When my husband died, I was too caught in my own grief to be of much use to him in his. He had his wife to help him, and I was alone. I sometimes think now that I should have been more present for him, but I don't know how I would have been able to be. Most days I was barely coherent. But now, as he has what is to me a crisis of faith, I wonder if I have been enough for him. I asked him recently if he thought his faith-path would have turned out differently if his papa hadn't died. He said he didn't know, but that he had often wondered that too. I think it would have. I don't have the right wisdom for him. I don't have the right words for him to hear. His papa did. But, then, if another person is holding us onto the path...how tightly do we really have it gripped anyway?