I lay in bed last night exhausted and looked at the ceiling. Then I got back out again and briefly knelt down next to my bed with my face pressed into the mattress and mumbled a prayer.
God, here I am. I don’t know what I’m doing.
For as much as parenting can feel like living on a hamster wheel, it’s also constantly changing. Such a strange dichotomy. Our oldest is headed straight for preteen and only two years behind him and several inches ahead of him our middle comes barreling after and both made my head ache yesterday.
They make my heart ache too because I love so much who they’re becoming.
But I also don’t always understand their choices. And last night I realized, again, how vulnerable I am. How there are no guarantees and how I don’t have all the answers.
These boys are growing into themselves and Pete and I so badly want to help them grow into the best version of themselves. Yesterday did not feel like one of those days. Although, maybe that’s when we find the best version of ourselves. Maybe we have to dig it out from under layers of tears and grime smudged across sweaty, confused faces. Maybe growing up isn’t about inches it’s about rings. All these rings of becoming who you can be. Marked by all the moments you had to actually see yourself and your decisions and consciously adjust course.
Maybe that’s what parenting is. Course correction. A PhD in constant course correction.
After the boys had showered and later when they were shaking out their blankets and crawling onto pillows with the stuffed toys I hope they never surrender, they were little again. When they curl up their long legs and tuck their sinewy arms under their heads to sleep, I recognize them again. The familiar babies I held for hours through the shifts of nursing and burping.
I catch glimpses in their growing faces.
They’re caught in the in between and here I am trying to give directions and realizing I’m just as in between as they are.
So I crawled back out of my own bed and planted my face in the mattress and didn’t even ask for help. I just said, here I am.
Here I am God.
Please find me on your map.
Please find all of us.
I like to think of God with a giant, “you are here” star marked on His beautiful map of infinite possibility.
I just needed to know last night that at least someone knew where we’d all end up.
Then I could crawl back under my own covers and it was enough. Knowing that I’m not alone. Or expected to know it all or have all the answers. I can’t resolve all the conflict for my kids – especially not the kind that brews inside them. I can’t solve disputes with angry neighbors or tween boys who chase each other down the soccer field with frustrated yells.
Some nights all I can do is kneel down and say out loud all the things I can’t do.
Maybe that’s the point.