I like to know where I’m going. Like when I’m following directions, I know my next four turns before they arrive. Preparation. No surprises.
In other words, the exact opposite of parenting.
Last night I laid in bed planning out the next year for Asa. His bedding, clothes, haircut, things to buy. And then my mind went into overdrive, going over all the terrors of having three boys, another two-year old, more stuff to buy, potty training. Potty training. So much potty training.
I can’t prepare for that boy’s life any more than I can prepare for my own. I haven’t got a clue what’s in store for him, and sometimes that fact alone makes parenting seem impossible or pointless. But it’s that realization, I think, that makes me see that parenting isn’t only about the kid we love so much.
It’s about me sometimes. Me loving them despite their mistakes and loving them through them. It’s about them and learning about the sea of choices they will have. And it’s about God. God being their true Father. God being my Father. Abba.
I don’t know how to be a parent 95% of the time. Road maps with turn-by-turn directions would be so useful in this task I have, but there is also way too much joy on the road less traveled. Sometimes it involves poop and crying. Sometimes it involves spontaneous “I wove you’s” from squishy-faced toddlers. And all of it requires the ultimate Father. In this unknown territory I travel, He is the most reliable road map. He knows this terrain. He knows what it is to be a parent, to be parented, to be over it all. It can be a job full of doubt, but I am not doubtful of God. After all, my Papa has never once failed me.