OK...so maybe he's not 'prodigal', but he is home. I picked up my son, Joshua, last night from the airport. Josh lives with his dad in California during the school year and spends Christmas and Summer with us in Iowa. Talk about polar opposites. Especially this time of year when it truly is 'polar' here.
So, my baby gets off of the plane and I am watching for him. I already know I am going to have a hard time recognizing him because, well, I have spoke with him on the phone. See, he was just here in August. However, for a 14 year old boy 4 months may as well be 4 years. In other words....he no longer sounds like his sisters. He is beginning to sound like a....dare I say it.....(gulp) MAN! Here I am in the airport with my mom watching, waiting, pacing, anxious to get my arms around this boy that I love so dearly, when all of a sudden, from behind, I hear a voice. It's vaguely familiar. It's my son. He walked past me and was behind me without me seeing him. I think I shrieked slightly. Maybe it wasn't audible to people around me, but in my head it was a cry........"Where did my baby go?"
My 'baby' is 6 ft tall, weighs approximately 143 lbs, and wears a size 13 shoe! Where there used to be the chubby little face of a child, there is now a chisled outline of a young man. There is even some 'facial' hair. EEEK! I asked if it was time to start shaving and he laughed and said..."I already do mom. That's how I got it to look like this. You know if you shave it, it comes back darker and thicker." This made me chuckle as the 'facial' hair could actually be mistaken for a dirty lip.
His physical appearance is only part of the shock. What is even more amazing is how mature he is becoming. Well, in some ways. I don't know what it is about my 10 year old daughter that brings out the 5 year old in my son, but this morning I awoke to her yelling because Josh was trying to squeeze her through a narrow opening between the bed and the wall. Other than those precious little moments, he really has 'grown up' quite a bit and I can't take credit for it.
Joshua living with his dad has been a very hard struggle for many years. On one hand, I am happy his dad loves him and wants him. I am finding that many dads don't. On the other hand, I wish he would leave me alone and let me raise my son. Yeah, that's pretty, I know. Very Christian of me, eh?
When I say this has been a struggle, what I really mean is I have been wrestling with God about this issue for quite some time. I know where God wants my son......and it's not with me. The struggle has not only been with God, but about God. Josh's dad is not a believer. See why I'm wrestling? Why on His green earth would He not want Josh to live in a Christian home?
The answer becomes more clear each time I see my 'baby'. I don't have the slightest idea of how to raise a man! I did an awesome job raising my boy. He is loving, caring, sensitive, and he will make an amazing husband and father someday due, in part, to my upbringing, but he is not a 'boy' anymore. His dad is raising him to be a 'man' and....he is doing a great job.
God has been working with me on this issue for about 5 years (I'm a little slow:). He has brought some major changes, disappointments, and struggles into my life to teach me this lesson, but finally.......I get it Lord!
I am not done with this blog by any means. There is so much more, but this blog is getting entirely too long. So....I will post a kinda/sorta 'Part 2' to this over the next few days. I am anxious to share what God has been revealing to me. Right now, though.....I am going to go home to my son and wrap my arms around him. (Well, around his waist, because I can't reach his neck anymore:).