Saturday, April 18

where's the manual?

It's often been said that babies should come home from the hospital with a manual for parents to help them with parenting their new *model*. That thought has come to mind often when I consider our children....all the same *make* as they have the same two parents, but each one definitely their own *model* as they are each so unique. It seems there's always something new to learn about each one.

However, I now more clearly see the need for a manual to help parents get through the letting go experience with each grown up *model*. Each child chooses a pathway to go and you help them along using your own experience and knowledge to guide them. But even these experiences are unique to the child going through them.

I remember going through a parent orientation session for the second child in our family to attend college and thinking to myself, "Ya, ya, I already know all this!" only to find out that this experience has been quite different than our first. Oh, I knew enough to be covered on the basics, but hadn't figured into the equation who this child was and have found myself surprised and needing to adjust my thinking.

So a month or two ago when I was told not to expect much contact from my son in army basic training, I remember nodding my head "okay" and figured it would not be much different than when the others had left home. You never know when you will hear from them or how often you will hear from them or if you will ever hear from them (yup, that would be my son currently in college!)

Now that we are almost four weeks into the process I'm saying.....

Hey! Where's the manual? When are we going to have the parent's orientation session? Why didn't someone explain the "not much contact" concept to me more clearly? How long does this part last? When do I actually get to talk with my son? Will it be like this forever?


I thought I was prepared and now find that what I thought and what the experience has been doesn't match up. At all.

Two phone calls for less than five minutes each and two notes home in almost four weeks. It's quite a transition for a mom who has had fairly steady daily contact for over 22 years with a kid who made me smile and loved on me regularly.

And the blue funk set in complete with tears every time I thought about him.

Then God in His wisdom allowed a friend to cross my path. Someone who had been in the armed services. Someone who knew what basic training was all about. Someone who explained the necessity of cutting off contact for these young men. Someone who encouraged me by expressing all my son's strong points - faith being one of them - and how those things would pull him through just fine. Yes, someone who was a God sent blue funk buster who arrived in perfect timing!

Can I encourage you a moment? YOUR life experiences are valuable, even those very difficult things which you could not understand any purpose for them at the time. Perhaps you still can't understand the "whys". Perhaps you never will. However, God can use YOU to minister to someone else who is experiencing something very similar. Be open to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life and allow
yourself to be a God sent blue funk buster for someone else.

Although manuals may not come with stages of parenting, how thankful I am that God does provide encouragement along the way by using His children and their gifts and talents to bless others!

Tammy ~@~

(As an update, we have since received an address to write letters which is very welcomed because now we can encourage him with mail. And we've received a longer letter from him which has been more upbeat. Life looks a little brighter now!)


ValleyGirl said...

I can't imagine how tough this must be for you. But you must be so proud of him!! {{hugs}} I'll keep you in my prayers as you struggle with this transition.

Karen said...

I don't know that there's ever an "easy" stage. My dad told me when I was 20 something and had my first child that "you never stop worrying over your children, no matter how old they get. The worries just change." Thanks, dad. Anyway, I agree that it's why we need to send that note, make that call or send off an email when we feel led by the Spirit. We never know who needs to hear what when.

Blessed weekend!

Letitia said...

Very true. All of it. We never know how are words are going to encourage someone. (Thanks for yours to me, by the way.)
As I get used to one being gone from home, I know it won't be a bit easier when the next one leaves. So much to get used to. And, you're many different circumstances.

theArthurClan said...

I am so happy that you had a friend who could be there for you right at the perfect moment. I'm going to be keeping you in my prayers...I can't even imagine how difficult this must be for you.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin