Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Growing Pains

Moms always want the very best for their children.  We have this burning desire to see our kids succeed in everything they do, and we would do just about anything to keep them from pain, heartache, and disappointment. Unfortunately,  these unpleasant emotions are all part of the growing up process.  If we could keep our little ones from scraping their knees, getting teased,  or striking out, it would feel wonderful, but probably wouldn't help them in the long run.  They've got to learn to deal with some of these little trials on their own.  Those rough patches are filled with the life lessons that only experience can teach. Watching our children work through them is perhaps the toughest part of motherhood. 

 I remember my mom praying diligently at every one of my brother's baseball games the entire time he was on the pitcher's mound.  She could hardly enjoy the game because she was so nervous for him.  If she could have willed him to pitch strikes, he would have pitched a perfect game. I always laughed and said, "Mom, why are you praying about a silly game? What if there's a mom on the other team that is praying for her son too? Who's prayer will God answer?" I didn't see what the big deal was.

And then I had kids of my own.

Now I get it.

I am a 33 year old mother with a 5 foot tall 3rd grader who already fits into my boots.  I can't believe it. He's long and slender with giant feet. This weekend when I watched him play club baseball, he had about as much elegance as a giraffe with cleats on.  He ran awkwardly around the bases, willing his long legs and big feet to cooperate with the rest of his body. If he ever grows into his limbs, he'll be a force to be reckoned with. Until that day arrives, I have to sit back and watch him fumble his way around the ball field. It crushed me when he got tagged out while sliding home during his last game.  If he was just a few seconds faster, he would have been safe, but alas, those long legs just couldn't run quick enough. It nearly broke this momma's heart.

At this weekend's tournament, my son's team played against two of the top ranked teams going to the USSSA World Series, and our little mountain team was intimidated, to say the least.  My boy was so nervous that he nearly lost his head.  Our family was there to watch him play and I found myself praying, the same way my mom did, for my baby boy to get a good hit.  I wanted so badly for him to succeed.  There was so much pressure to perform well with everyone watching him. Then I chuckled and thought, "it's just a game", yet I went on praying again...just in case it mattered to God.  Whenever I'm nervous, I talk to Jesus.  It's second nature for me to offer prayers up for my kids.  I can't swing the bat for my son but I can certainly say a little prayer for him the way my mother prayed for my brother and me.

Maybe the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.  I guess a girl never quite understands the heart of her mother until she becomes one herself. 

In the end, my boy smacked that ball and got a hit! I wanted to do the happy dance and yell out, "Thank you Jesus!"  I started to cheer, and my boy was grinning from ear to ear. I think God heard the prayers of this momma, and I think He was cheering right along with me.

God is so gracious to help us navigate these little growing pains in life.  My son is growing into his feet, and I am growing in my role as a mother. Sometimes we both look clumsy, but the Lord is there to see us through the tough stuff.

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