Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Next Level

There are constant milestones and paradigm shifts that occur in the life of a young child....kicking, rolling over, crawling, laughing, standing, walking, running ....that sort of thing. It keeps happening throughout their precious little lives. Most of us parents have got something on our doorposts that look something like the photo above (that's Gavin's...Ivy's is on the opposite wall)....milestones of height....growth. There's this weird dichotomy with all of this...on one hand you LOVE the fact that your child is growing, but on the other hate the fact that they are getting bigger....and more long for the things that they used to care about....or say. I remember Gavin, as a baby, when thirsty, used to say "wahwee?!" when asking for water. That doesn't happen anymore. When he used to ask for his grandmother he used to say "maber?"...but no longer. These little endearing things have passed by in the name of growth and maturity and, on one hand, it's wonderful that he's progressing and growing seems like it's happening so fast....too fast. I'm not sure I like it. I mean....I dig the growth but....slow it down a bit Lord.

Ivy has this great word.....when she's in the zone and loving life......when you are giving her tickles and hugs, and she's laughing like crazy and wants "more"....she says...."maaawwww?!"...I swear, it's the cutest thing that you'll ever hear. But the reality is that, in a few months or so, she'll mature to a point where she won't ask for "Maaawww" anymore. She'll mature out of that. I'm excited that she's growing....but I kind of mourn those little parts of her life that, as she matures, can never be revisited.
It becomes this constant balance of growth....the willingness to sacrifice aspects of your children's young lives that are replaced with new skills and experiences as they grow older. It just seems like it happens too quickly.
Teenagers wish they could grow up twice as fast....parents wish their children could grow up half as quickly.

Today, I reached a milestone with my son, Gavin. He's 4 1/2 and will turn 5 in December. He got stooged with a lame birthday 2 days after Christmas....he's still a champ, though. He's grown so much this past much so that it's a 50/50 shot as to who gets that biggest fish in our daily fishing derbies (he won today....but not by much :^)
Today, my 4 1/2 year old son took his first trip paddling a canoe all by himself. His grampa and I were in our boat close by him should anything happen but....he handled himself like a champ and learned some amazing skills. He was so excited to do this today. I was so proud of him.
But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't wish that I could stunt his growth....if only to keep him little for just a bit longer.
Here's my boy....out on his own:

There is so much that goes into this activity....balance, direction, risk assessment, overcoming fear....and my boy handled it like a champ. He's learning so much this Summer.....gardening, harvesting, fishing, boating, dominion.....and he's only 4. May the LORD give me wisdom to teach my children ever more. Thank you, LORD, for your provision and blessing.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

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