Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He's a Working Man!!!

It's true! Billy is an officially employed member of society. First real job ever. And we are EXCITED!

His interview was yesterday and I don't know who was more nervous about it -- Billy or I. As he walked off with his interviewer, Billy looked incredibly handsome -- dress shirt, nice jeans, freshly cut hair. Left behind, I meandered mindlessly up and down the aisles oblivious to the wares for sale. Instead, I pleaded with God to let Billy have this job. I knew how much it would mean to him and I wanted it to happen so, so badly.

The time ticked by and with each stroke of the minute hand, my heart-rate increased. How long do these interviews take anyway? It wasn't like he was applying to be the CEO or something!!! At last, after thirty very looooong minutes, Billy reappeared...

with a smile...

and a spring in his step...

and I KNEW...

and all but lost it as the girls and I engulfed him in hugs. (Keep it together, Margie! Don't embarrass the boy!)

So today I'm baking him his favorite cake and we will celebrate this milestone. Because Billy is officially a working man!!! Yippee!

Thank you, God, for answered prayer and a new chapter in Billy's life.

Passing the Baton

I like relay races. They require teamwork, impeccable timing, and trust. The first racer carries the baton for a distance and then hands it off to the next racer who carries it a ways further. This continues until, at some point, the race is finished.

It's a little like parenting. The parent carries the responsibility for the beginning part of a child's life and then there's a handing-off period, usually during the teen years, when the weight of that baton of responsibility is gradually eased into the hands of your child until finally, he/she runs off with it alone.

I'm watching it happen now with Andie. She's months away from eighteen and reminds of this often. But she doesn't really have to. I see it. I feel it. It's kind of bittersweet. I inhale relief and exhale anxiety. Grateful for the young woman she's becoming, yet worrying that she's still not ready for adulthood.

A few weeks ago our church had its annual VBS program focused on the life of Daniel and his friends while they were in Babylon. Andie and I worked on decorations. We, mostly she, built the Ishtar Gate in the multipurpose room. As I held the legs of the ladder and watched, Andie scaled that ladder, made measurements, calculated, adjusted, recalculated, and finally executed -- with very little advice from me. From my vantage point on the ground, I couldn't help remembering a time, not very long ago it seems, when I was the one perched atop a ladder while Andie held the legs and prattled happily, "I heppin', Mama! I heppin'."

And I realize that it won't be long before Andie and I are no longer running side-by-side carrying the baton together. She will take it and run with it and I will gaze proudly after her retreating figure and smile and whisper, "God, run with her for me now!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012


It's a common word heard in delivery rooms everywhere.


It's the act of being born.


It's how to get a child sky-high on a swing.


It's what we mothers do to get our children out the door in the mornings.


Sometimes it's what we do to help our kids try new situations, change behaviors, grow up.

The tricky part is...

how hard do you push?

Because pushing isn't just a brute physical act.

It's an art.

When done correctly, it can challenge a child to reach for new horizons.

When done wrong, it can knock a child flat.

I must confess...

I've done a bit of both.

The secret is to do it in such a way that your child has no idea you're even doing it.

The secret is to let them think they've done all on their own.

Because that way...

the next push won't have to come from you...

it will come from within themselves.