Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ready for New Adventures

This is my son Nathan at age three. (All together now: "Awww!")

A friend was directing a production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and asked if Nate could be an extra and sing in the angel choir. I could have turned her down. He was so young! In fact, he was the littlest member of the cast. What if he got stage fright at the last minute? What if he missed his cue to go out on stage? What if he halo fell off? But I didn't want him to miss out on this chance at stardom, and he answered with an enthusiastic, "Yeah!" when I asked if he wanted to be in Miss Kim's play, so I let him do it. I'm so glad I did. He had a wonderful time and did a great job. And at the risk of sounding like a gushing mom, he looked SO CUTE!!!

This is Nathan at age eleven. He has grown quite a bit as you can see, and he is about to step out into some new adventures.

Tomorrow, he is going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, not with me, not with his grandparents or cousins, but with the junior high group from church. I was tempted to say no when he told me about the activity. He just joined the junior high group, and we barely know the leaders and kids. Once again, the mommy in me was saying, "He is so young!" As a soon-to-be sixth-grader, he could possibly be the youngest kid in the group. What if he gets talked into going on a ride that terrifies him? What if he gets separated from his group? What if he is the only one without a friend? But just like with the play, I don't want him to miss out and he REALLY wants to go, so I'm setting my anxieties aside and encouraging him to have a great time.

I consider it a practice run for mid-August when he goes to camp with a friend from Reno for a week. As excited as I am for him, my mommy fears have been revving up lately. What if he gets homesick? What if he gets sick or hurt? What if something upsetting happens? Once again, I know I need to focus on all that is exciting and wonderful, keep my worries to myself, and send him off knowing he needs to do things like go away to camp for a week without mom hovering. (For those of you who are saying to yourself, "Wait, he is eleven and just now going to the boardwalk with a group that doesn't include you? And is this really his first trip to sleep-over camp? What kind of helicoptor parent are you? Let's just say that after several crazy years, we are catching up on some experiences.)

All of this is reminding me that being a good mom includes letting my sons do things even when I'm not sure if I am . . . I mean they are ready, even if letting them do it means battling a lot of what-ifs. Each adventure provides more practice in trusting God to take care of them when I'm not looking. Each, "Sure, that sounds like fun" gives them a little more confidence. And even if one of my fears does come true, those will hopefully become opportunities to learn and grow.

So, have fun, Nate the Great! I am so thankful that you are the kind of boy who wants to put yourself out there and try things--the kind of boy who isn't afraid of a little adventure. 


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