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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

GratiTuesday - Walking Away

My Little Man isn't so little anymore, but he's always been with me.  He's my buddy.

We go to the store and on field trips together.  We snuggle and read books and gather rocks and plant the garden together.  

Because I worked in a preschool, he's even been with me there - in the room next door or in my own classroom.

Until this week.

This week he chose to go to basketball camp, a half-day camp happening at our local high school.  It's a skills-based camp for boys, and since he played his first season of basketball this past winter, he loves the sport.

So for the first time ever, he's getting up early and getting dropped off somewhere.  Without us.

It's rather difficult to watch him carry his new water cooler up the steps and through those big doors, but then his face lights up when he finds a friend, and he takes off across the gym floor to join in a game until camp starts.

This is our role as parents.  This raising and teaching and discipling and preparing for the leaving.  As much as we revel and stress in the everyday, the point of it all is to prepare them to leave.  To leave us confidently and strong, ready to follow Jesus into the unknown of their futures.

So this basketball camp is an important step.  It's nearby and only a few hours and he probably won't encounter anything dangerous (yay!) but he's on his own.  Sure, it's a controlled environment, but it won't always be that way.  This is his chance to be a man of character when Mommy isn't looking.  To learn the consequences of his actions (I pray they're good ones) and to take responsibility for them.

It's just basketball camp, but it's so much more.

I'm glad that he's ready.  I'm glad that he wants to take this step.  It's hard to see him walk away, but it's necessary.  Walking away now will help him be prepared to walk away towards bigger, more important things.  

So while I'm rather sad to see him leaving, I'm thankful for that bounce in his step that tells me he's ready for this.  That he's not scared.  That he's ready to go and make new friends and try new things.

This hard parenting thing - we're seeing some fruit this week.

And it's good.

What are your kids involved in this summer?  And how goes it?

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