Big Man

My husband was out-of-town for the third time this summer. one night I was feeling especially worn out, longing for some relief from the long days of summer.  After baths, with jammies on; the boys and I sat down to watch a show.  When the show was over we headed for bed.

I noticed my oldest son, Matthew, was milling around and NOT following us upstairs. I started back down the stairs to chastise him but before I could say a word I saw him at the back door, checking to make sure it was locked.  I stayed quiet and kept watching. He moved to the front door, checked it and then moved back to the kitchen.  That’s when I spoke up.  “What are you doing buddy?” He looked embarrassed, like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  I assured him I wasn’t angry, just curious.

“Dad said I was supposed to take care of you and the boys while he’s gone.  I’m suppose to be the man of the house.” I smiled, thanked him for listening to Daddy and taking such good care of us and headed back up the stairs.  I froze when I heard the alarm beeping.  He was setting our home alarm system!?!?

Matt is the only one who checks all the locks in the house and sets the alarm late at night once everyone is ready for bed.  I was kind of shocked that my son even knew how to set the alarm because I don’t remember him ever watching Matt do it. Either way, he was following through on his charge to take care of his brothers and me.

I laid in bed that night overcome with the realization that my kids are watching me and Matt.  They are taking cues from us about what it means to be a parent, a partner; an adult.  Suddenly I felt very heavy with responsibility and gratitude.

I felt the responsibility that comes from realizing that my kids are growing up.  Matthew just turned 9 and although I never want him as a child to carry the same stresses or burdens we do as adults – but he’s finding out how he fits in the world, not just our family. That’s HUGE! I’m helping raise a citizen that will hopefully make this world a better place.  It’s in these moments when I see his potential and realize that the real-life situations he encounters will allow his God-given traits to be seen.

Along with responsibility I felt gratitude. I was grateful for the fact that, even though he sometimes has to travel, I have a partner in this parenting journey – my husband Matt. I meet so many mothers who, for one reason or another, are without a husband to help them raise their kids.  I listen to their stories and am amazed. They are the mom, dad, provider, protector, nurturer and unless they have other family in the area they never really get a break.  To those moms I say: “BRAVO!”  You deserve a standing ovation, a dozen roses, a tiara and the best gift of all: a nap! 😮

Whether we are raising boys or girls we have to remember that our goal as parents is to literally work ourselves out of a job.  We provide so much for them when they are little, but as they grow and their immediate need for our presence lessens we should rejoice in a job well done!

We’ll always be Mothers – even when our children are grown.  It’s really cool to think that as we watch our kids discover who they are and how God will use them we get to grow too!  Our “growth spurts” may not be physical or clear to others but we are constantly changing and to me that’s exciting.

God will give us the wisdom we need for every situation we encounter (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Let’s keep growing WITH our kids and enjoy each moment with them.  This season of parenting is fleeting and I’d hate to miss a moment because I want to control everything or because I’m afraid. Watching my boys become individuals with specific gifts, traits and personalities is truly amazing…I hope you are enjoying the same kind of discoveries with your kids.  No matter where we are on this journey there’s always something new to learn – I’m just glad I’m not alone and I have you – this awesome community of moms to share everything with.

Thanks for taking time to read, to forward this to your friends and for leaving comments – it just makes my day!

You are doing an amazing job – keep going!

Much love and admiration –


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