Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Respect The Wiring - Part 1

I love home improvement shows. I love watching folks take charge of their own dreams for their home and make them come alive. I really love learning about new ideas and styles and trends. And I especially love watching folks learn "on the job." On one particular cold and drippy Saturday, I was snuggled up with my coffee watching a show about a family who was kind of stuck in their ability to proceed with an unfinished project. They had plateau'd seriously with any forward movement because of finances and lack of expertise. That lack of expertise just so happened to be in an area of home improvement that scares me every.single.time. The Boss has to mess with it: ELECTRICAL and WIRING.

The contractor/host of the show was giving the home-owner a very basic and simple lesson on re-wiring. I sat, cringing, and expecting someone to get zapped.  And when it happened, I jumped. When he was sure the home-owner wasn't seriously hurt or too freaked out to continue, the host went on to explain the concept of crossing lines, stripping lines, checking for live wires, and so on. But all I heard over and over in my mind was "Respect the wiring."  I don't even know, now, if the host said it or if I'd heard it along the way somewhere in our many, many home improvement journeys. But I just kept going back to "Respect the wiring."

You see, this has been a hard year in parenting for me. I've made a lot of mistakes. I've lost my cool more times than I care to count. I've butted heads with my kids, I've steam-rolled them some times. Other times, I've felt steam-rolled by them. It's been hard to flex and change and grow with the stages they are experiencing and let growth and independence come appropriately and safely. Safely is a big thing for me, I'm learning about myself. I am not a risk taker, and I prefer that my kids not take risks that put them in harms' way. I happen to like them in one piece, bones intact and faces arranged as adorably as God made them. Crazy, I know.

But I digress.

I think the reason that "Respect the wiring" spoke to me continually over the following days was really that the Lord was trying to give me a concrete illustration for some parenting dilemmas I was feeling angst over. When I sat and thought about it and asked the Lord to really show me what He wanted me to see, I felt like He gave me a great example in the life of my precious Dr. D.

Bear with me, as I try to flesh it out for you.

My sweet, clever, exuberant Dr. D is something of a surprise to me in these last few years. As a little one, he was a total home-body, preferring the company of his family over almost any other persons. He attached strongly and intensely to the men in his life. He really, really looked to these men for connection and identity. Now, as a Momma, I was more than happy that the majority of the men in his life were family: The Boss, his grandfathers, his uncles, a couple friends, and so on. But as I thought and prayed over him, I recognized that that trait could also spell big trouble for a vulnerable and seeking young boy. So I prayed. And I guarded. And I prayed. And frankly, I fought regular battles with fear. You know what I'm talkin' about if you are a parent. 

We intentionally chose not to fall prey to those (very real and unfortunately all-too-possible) fears, and instead surrounded him with good role models. As he grew and became more and more interested in sports, we intentionally sought out godly sports figures to learn about. We keyed in to his love of music and although we couldn't necessarily fall in love with his preferred styles, we researched. The Boss checked lyrics and sometimes even back-stories on bands. We allowed him to pursue his interests in teams like our beloved Eagles, purchase music from groups like DiscipleAs I Lay Dying, and so on. Recently, his tastes have turned to Christian rap. I have to admit, I do enjoy listening to some of it with him. Thanks to LeCraePettidee, and Tedashi, my son is bouncing around the house singing the Gospel. Even if it's a hard driving beat and in urban lingo, you can't really fault that, now can you?

Anyway, he's definitely been growing and changing and we've tried really hard to keep up with it all these last few years. And we noticed as we kept going out of our own comfort zone with him in these specific ways, he was getting really comfortable in his own skin. I've said before that he is probably the LEAST self-conscious teen I've ever known. He was growing into his own man in many ways. But he was also becoming more extroverted. He was still witty, but was figuring out the power that his wit had over a crowd. This was the surprise for us.  If you had told me when he was 2 that my almost shy and home-lovin' little boy would end up being the life of the party at 13, I would have totally laughed you out of the room. Really. Ask any of our friends who have known him since he was a baby. Sweet, mischievous, silly, but NOT an extrovert. We're still a little surprised, and it's been several years now that he's been coming into himself like this!

Come on back tomorrow for the part 2 of this parenting tale....

1 comment:

Aus said...

Morning GM - know you 'angst' well - with three of ours over 22 now!

And personally - I find electrical work shocking...

But this is oh.so.not.fair - teasers aren't allowed!

hugs - aus and co.