Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A lifetime of parenting
7:21 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy uncrowded Disneyland with Steve, just moseying along and going on the usual faves, Pirates of the Caribbean--with sunglasses on as a gag to make it extra shady!--and the Haunted Mansion. We tried the Astro flyers in Tomorrowland for the first time, too. We enjoyed this after we had to be placed in two separate rockets...are we really that big? (Don't answer that question!)
Another favorite is the low-key Jungle Cruise, a must after I pretty much landed on my back in the rocket ship and had quite a headache. We walked right in, and joined the others in our boat. I happened to notice a very elegant woman in her late seventies, with two middle aged daughters, one tall and pretty, and the other one, much shorter, laughing with childlike delight across from them. (I ascertained the relationships by observing facial features).
The shorter, older daughter was a Downs Syndrome victim. I have to admit that I have never seen an adult with Downs, much less one older than myself, from the appearance of her wrinkles and graying hair. She was having a ball, very much loved and included by her mother and sister.
I thought, "This is 'forever parenting' in action." Mom and Dad never stop being Mom and Dad, but our role as directing, disciplining, watchdog parents fades out pretty much by our kids' late twenties, when they establish adult lives and we eventually become peers of sorts. Just this morning, Kriss was texting me about how he and his wife are getting information together for life insurance. I texted him, "Look at you--all grown up!" Sons and daughters do grow up--that's God's plan for us.
A child's natural break away from her parent will never happen for our fellow passengers! This mother and daughter have probably been together every day since the daughter was born. What would it be like to know that, through no fault of her own, your child would never leave home or marry? It made me put the squabbles and worries I have with my adult kids in perspective, that's for sure. I definitely have concerns, but the Lord would have them work on these issues while I watch and pray for them, sort of the Nehemiah principle of working, watching and praying simultaneously! (Nehemiah 4:6-9) I will not be showing up on their doorstep(s) with a plan of action! They are adults now.
My mother had a saying that went, "I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." How true that is. Others are in a much worse position than we will ever be, and sometimes God graciously allows us a glimpse of their trials. No one is making a pretense of enjoying tough breaks and hardship, losses and heartaches, but scripture tells us that not only can we survive these life episodes, but we can become better for them. We trust in the Lord!
Listen to Psalm 20--even read it aloud!
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all of your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
May he grant you according to your heart's desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stand upright.
May the King answer us when we call.
All my hope and all my answers are from my God.