I have heard it said that parenting is like flying a kite.
When they are young, you keep them close, but as they grow, you let out the line little by little. If you let it out all at once, giving them too much freedom, they’ll get tangled in the briars of life. But if you never let go, they don’t learn to fly on their own.
The key, the impossible, glorious key, is to let it out knot by knot, at the right times and in the right places. I’m quite sure it’s impossible to get right every time.
Today I let out a knot, allowing my 8 year old to ride home from the park on his own. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama heart beat faster than I would have liked.
I have seen the damage that can be caused by vehicles and have probably held onto this particular knot longer than necessary.
So even in the midst of letting go of my kite a little, fear clutched at my throat. I jogged home soon afterward, listening for sirens the whole way. On the outside, I was calmly allowing my son a little bit of new freedom. On the inside, I was a jumbled mess.
Will it always be like this?
Does watching your child grow up always pinch your heart tight, or does it get easier with time?
Either way, if raising children is like slowly letting a kite fly higher above the earth, I’d like to do my best to make sure their way is straight. I must keep the end goal in mind.
The ultimate goal of my parenting is not for my son to go to a great school, or to get a great job, or to be a great husband.
The ultimate goal of my parenting is to point my sons toward a great God, so that their relationship with him determines where they fly.
To that end, I recently sat down and hammered out a manifesto for myself.
I call it the “Christian Parent Manifesto“.
I’ve sent a copy to all subscribers of my weekly e-letter, so if you’d like to read it, simply input your details here and you’ll get a copy for yourself.
Together, maybe we can figure out what makes our parenting unique.
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