I dropped Joshua and Andrea off at school this morning and as they waved good-bye and I drove off, leaving them in the hands of their very wonderful and competent teachers, I wondered how it happened that they've become so independent. Doug has often told me that our job with the kids is to make them fully independent adults when the time is right. I've allowed them many freedoms. I'm sure many parents would think I'm crazy but if I don't let them do certain things on their own, I feel I will miss the small window of their lives that will allow them to feel grown up. If I coddle, protect, and hover for too long, they may be wary or frightened of the big world. Or, even worse, they may rebel and express their feelings through other worldly dangers. As I continued to drive home with my two little girls, I wondered a few things:
- Do they really walk their bikes across the street like I've instructed? I saw a boy about 10 or 11 years old ride his bike across the road on a red light. Will mine do that?
- Do they really stay in their boundaries of the "forest" so I know where they are?
- Do they have a true sense of God being with them in their day, allowing them to make a choice of right or wrong?
- Will my wondering and questioning change anything?
I know that in these quiet moments of questioning my parenting, I need to lift these precious people to God and trust that He will take care of them. That the funny feeling in the pit of their stomach, telling them that something is not ok to do, is the One who is watching them when I can't. I pray for physical, emotional and spiritual protection on them and that as I allow them freedoms and responsibilities, they in turn will respect me as their mom.