When I was a teenager, I wasn't like most of my friends. Not because I was taller than all of them or had a strange sense of humor, but because most of my friends couldn't wait to graduate, get married and start having a family. Me? All I could think about was graduating and moving to New York City to be in fashion merchandising or an interior decorator. My dreams did not include a husband nor children.
Fast forward to the day after I turned 25 when I was standing at the altar, facing an incredibly handsome and loving man and saying "I do" in front of my family and friends. My dream of NYC went by the wayside and was replaced with a dream for a family. Funny how my dreams never gave one thought to how incredibly difficult parenting can be, especially if one of your children has extenuating circumstances.
So, this week I have totally screwed up as a parent, to both boys. Fear has ruled my week and has caused me to be irrational, emotional, self-centered, judgmental, and confrontational and all this before I even got out of bed Monday morning! It was all downhill from there which meant the boys never stood a chance.
As most of you know, we have been touring college campuses with Spencer. We left it up to him to decide which campuses he wanted to tour and subsequently contact the appropriate person, schedule the tour and then give us the address and the time. I was amazed that I made it through all the tours without a) carrying a bottle of wine and drinking straight from the bottle, and b) crying and blubbering to Brad about how our "baby" is too young to be going to college. We walked, we saw, we oohed and aahed, we listened, we let Spencer do all the talking, we didn't cry (well, I did once but who's counting), and we gathered all the necessary information.
And then last night it hit me. We are actually touring these institutions of higher learning and contemplating letting our child LIVE there! Like, stay overnight for several months at a time! Or for YEARS! THAT IS INSANE!!! I freaked out. I rushed into the kitchen and completely accosted Spencer and as my words were rushing out of my mouth and I saw the look on his face, I knew that, in his mind, I had just won the "Most Horrible Parent of the Year" award. "You HAVE to go to college in the state we live in, be it Arkansas or California.", I said. "You CAN'T go to school in Arkansas if we live in California. That won't work. What if something happens or you get sick and we're 2,000 miles away, what will you do? What will WE do? Nope that won't work."
The look of devastation on his face made me wish I could turn back the clock a mere 10 minutes and never say those words. We have taught our boys to make decisions after prayerful consideration and here I was acting like a deranged lunatic and telling him all the things he COULD NOT do. He was calm before he said, "Mom, I will not choose my school out of fear. I will not let my disability define me. I will follow the path that God has for me." And with that, he went to bed. Oh my, how I wish I was as brave and intelligent and trusting as my 18 year old.
And so today I am spending the day asking God to replace my fear with contentment, my questions with His answers, and my need to control anything and everything that has to do with Spencer by knowing that God will do that for me.
"I am holding you by your right hand - I, the Lord Your God. And I say to you, "Do not be afraid. I am here to help you."