The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Curb

I'm sitting on the curb near the fork in the road mustering the courage to pick a path.  Do I stay on the path I know?  Where the journey, as of late, has been met with frustration and exhaustion?  Or do I chose the path I've never traveled before?  

This parenting thing is hard.

Every parent can attest to the feeling of perfection you feel when you first gaze at your beautiful new baby.  So much hope and so much promise bundled in your new breath of life.  You vow to make the possibilities endless and the encouragement grand so they can chase their dreams with passion unbridled.  Almost 14 years ago I looked into the eyes of my son and promised him the best of what I could give.

I look at him now and still see all the potential he holds, but I wonder, why can’t he?

Our house has always been one filled with encouragement balanced with discipline when needed.  We’ve always demanded the best of our children’s abilities and it was always good enough, no matter what the outcome, as long as the best is given. If our children came in dead last in a race, we celebrated with high fives, hugs and whoops and hollers when we could see them trying with all their might. Their best is always good enough.  Always.

Recently we’ve noticed our teenager not giving his best, and it is frustrating.  At first we questioned and coaxed.  As improvements didn’t come, we set guidelines.  When guidelines were ignored, we set up restrictions all the while encouraging him to show the world how great he is.  But he won’t.

This raises many questions in our minds, but we reduce them down to two.  Do we continue doing what we are doing or do we step back?  In 4 short years the world, by its standards, will view him as a man, a view as his mother I find cold with the sting of reality.  Continuing down the same path we are on, will lead to more frustration and more defiance.  Choosing to step back will allow him to make the decisions, with negative life-long impact, on his own.  I’ll be brutally honest here, the hardest part about stepping back is shaking the feeling that I’m giving up.  This, I suppose, is right where God wants me - giving my son and his future for God to direct, not me.  I was not prepared for letting go in such small steps to be so heart wrenching.

It’s exhausting to encourage someone who does not believe in the potential you can clearly see in them.  As a parent, exhaustion isn’t a reason we can use to stop.  It’s an excuse.  There is no room for excuses, especially when it comes to giving confidence-instilling encouragement to your child.  Exhaustion has a way of bringing me to the Edge of Hopelessness, a place I try at all costs to avoid.  I do no one any good there.

Which brings me back to the curb.  In my exhaustion, I sit down on this curb and look intrepidly down both paths. Knowing each path will bring its own trials and its own joys, it does not make the decision easier. I know I must choose.  With parental determination, I find the strength to get up and stand.  

In complete uncertainty and in hesitation, I take a step...  

1 comment:

  1. Ron Kageyama7/01/2011 2:40 PM

    Beautifully expressed Cheri. I fear my time is coming. Wishing you the best.