Just Call Me Columbus

Monday October 11, 2010

I feel like an adventurer, an explorer.

For so many years, we’ve walked the parenthood trail. The paths diverge but they’re similar, and they’re all part of the same trail.

For the longest time, someone was getting teeth at our house while another was losing them. One was leaving diapers and another came on the scene, with many diapers ahead.

It hasn’t been “same old, same old” – trust me, it was NEVER boring! But I do welcome a bit of change.

Do you remember when you took the crib down – for good? Or when you stopped saving Pampers coupons? Or the last one graduated from kindergarten? Sure, there were regrets (aren’t there always?) and sweet moments we’ll hold in our hearts forever…but there was also a bit of freedom in the idea.

We’re parents forever, no matter how far the heartstrings stretch geographically. But as our children grow, their needs change – and we must, too. Adjusting to your child’s growing independence, even if it just means letting him ride his bike to his friend’s house – is the tricky part of parenthood.

We can’t mother them at 15 the way we mothered them at 5.

When mine was 5, just the thought of mothering him at 15 scared me. So how do we get through it?

We act like Columbus – maintain that adventurous spirit. Be ready to explore new lands. Realize that what’s around the bend will be different from yesterday’s shore. And relish it!

Know your crew – their strengths and their flaws. Let them do all they can to help and to discover on the journey. Even let them take the lead down the path once in a while.

And me? I keep my eye on the North Star. Fixed, unchanging, useful in navigation – He’s always there.

Have you ever felt like an explorer on your parenting journey? Blazing new trails, hacking away at the undergrowth, sure no one had been here before you. Or has your path been smooth, well-marked by those before you? Chances are, it’s been a mixture. What helps you in your journey?


Diane said...

Love this! I need to keep my eyes fixed when the storms come to keep my barrings. :O)

Jean Wise said...

THis is a great post and so appropriate for today's holiday.

Victoria said...

I love how you tied in Columbus Day!

The changing seasons of her growth really get to us. Out of everything we've faced so far it's what hits me the hardest. But at the same time, it's like you said--there's freedom in it. For example, I'll be 39 when she graduates. How weird that I'll have a grown child before I'm 40! I didn't goof off much as a young adult, but I have my middle-aged years to look forward to. ;)

Karen said...

Great analogies, Laura! Good words.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Love this!
Thank goodness for that North Star! And for a co-captain to sail with. I'm so grateful to have my parenting partner!

Mary said...

What helps me? Prayer. A lot of prayer very often!

Clella said...

Being a Parent is not for the weak at heart and I feel in today's society it may be even more of an adventure, but I wouldn't have missed it and thank God every day that He stayed with me as I sailed the seas of parenthood. good post Laura Clella

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