Observations on the rollercoaster ride that is parenting

Set it down (the Target story)

We were out looking for a few items one evening and ended up at Target. The kids were tired and we just wanted to get in and out quickly so I decided to run in to the store to pick up the few things we needed. I grabbed a red basket and made my way to the far end of the store to retrieve my goods. When I arrived at my desired aisle, as often happens I noticed a few more things that I could not do without. One of my impulse items was an 24-pack of Vitamin Water, to which I had become recently addicted. I noticed quickly that it would not fit in my red basket. I set the basket down and made a few attempts at stacking my selections in a way that would allow me to carry them all back to the front of the store. I had several close calls at dropping everything, but was finally able to stand up, turn around, and make my way out of the aisle. As I was leaving the section, I noticed an empty shopping cart. It was sitting casually by a candy display and I had not noticed it when I entered the aisle. I looked around and no one seemed to belong to it. I thought about setting everything down and pushing the cart to the registers, but I chose not to and struggled on. I managed to make it most of the way down a major aisle toward the front of the store (I had now almost  traveled the length of the store and was in view of the turn that would take me the width of the store to the registers) when I noticed another solitary cart off to the side. I looked around and again could not identify anyone who might have been using it. I set my burdens down into the cart and pushed on. As I made my way toward the check out stands, it struck me that God is often there inviting me to lay my burdens down and give my troubles to Him. I drew a parallel between this instance and the challenges we had been facing in our life… We have been stressing over moving, over the arrival of our newest child, over little things, big things…everything. That trip into the store reminded me that He does not give up on me even when I pass up his offer for help. He just provides another opportunity…

I felt compelled to share this story… It seems a lesson I have to relearn from time to time. Our boys are entering different milestones of independence now. Logan is entering adolescence and will be faced with many new choices and situations that he will have to manage. Jaden and Dillon are expressing individuality and the desire to do “big boy” things more frequently and consistently. Our offerings for help will go unaccepted quite often I am sure… but we will have to remain patient and allow them to recognize that we are there for them when they need us and we will not force our support. It will be difficult to see them struggle with things that I could easily make better for them or show them how to do differently. It will be very difficult to watch them fail knowing I could have interfered or offered some assistance. But when they do come for help, we won’t mention the times we could have helped in the past… we will only do what we can and continue to offer our love and support… and keeping this perspective, I think I have some things to go set down.

Thanks for coming along for the ride…. Kiss your kids!

1 Comment

  1. October 28, 2008    

    Good words.

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