Thursday, April 24, 2008

letting go

Yesterday was Daniel's one month birthday, and I decided he was big enough to go to Bible class for the first time. (He had been staying with me in the adult class up til then.) We dropped him off with his teacher, and oh how I wanted to stay, but that would defeat the purpose of taking him to left. He did great, by the way, crying a little but then falling asleep when one of the helpers rocked him.

It got me thinking about the worst part of parenthood: letting go. I didn't really expect to deal with it so soon, but it has to start sometime, just a little bit at a time until he's all grown up (in his own eyes, at least!) and making all his own decisions. I want to hold on to him forever, but how selfish would that be? He needs a mom who knows when to hug and when to push.

It's...intimidating, to say the least, thinking about how Daniel has his whole life ahead of him, and the person he becomes will largely be due to the way David and I raise him. I've been thinking lately about the people I know (or knew) who were raised in good Christian homes and have since left the church for whatever reason. I have to wonder, did the parents miss something? Was there a time when they should have been paying better attention, explained something more thoroughly, taken more time to teach their child...? Or did the child just grow up and decide to rebel against what he knows is right? How can I keep that from happening with Daniel? I'm terrified of making a mistake so huge.

Taking it one day at a time, though, is something I can handle. Today I can sing Bible songs with him, and hold him and love him and let him know that Mommy's always here for him. Today I can study to become a stronger Christian myself, and pray really really hard that we can be good parents. Tomorrow, when he's 25 and thinking about these same things with his own child, I can worry about whether we did a good job.

In the meantime, before he outgrows this phase, I want to write down a couple of things that I love about Daniel.
-the way he stares at your face, full of questions, trying to figure out how to be like you
-the way he (intentionally, mind you) tilts his head caddywumpus when he's trying to get comfortable
-the way he gets so excited sometimes while eating that he pulls away and wiggles...and then cries because he's stopped eating
-(my favorite) the way he snuggles into your shoulder when he's tired and wants to cuddle.