I heard this quote listening to Jen Hatmaker‘s Willow Creek podcast from Mother’s Day, and I immediately thought of how scared I am as a parent. I think I’ve gotten better, I really do, but I have a long way to go.
This was never more apparent to me than
this past summer when my friend Jessica invited Jason and I out on the boat. I watched as her daughter, a year younger than Grumpy Toddler, was fearless with the water. FEARLESS, y’all, in the best way possible. She was FUN fearless. Jumped in, swam, played in the waves. In contrast, Charlotte clung to us in our laps, and I realized that she was the result of a mom who tried desperately to remove anything that could possibly cause her harm or sadness or discomfort. I had bubbled her right into boring.
When I think back to my life, and the moments that grew me, they really were just not all that fun. They were times I would have skipped if given the chance – if God had given me the foresight into the future. The babies I lost, the marriage that failed, the friendships that I walked away from, those horrible decisions I made. Like it or not, though, the bad grows us. And as I scrambled to block impending discomfort from my kids, I robbed them of their ability to be strong, determined women. Strong mothers. Dependable employees. I took away some of the experiences that would have forced them to learn to problem solve. In short, I decided to get their education FOR them so they wouldn’t have to – as if somehow that was a good thing.