I’m having “a moment.” My son, who I promise was only days ago a five-pound, wrinkly preemie, is approaching double digits. As I was mourning how quickly he’s morphing from a wise-old man in a toddler’s body to a loud, active, intelligent boy, I realized that his time in our home is already halfway gone. In eight years, he’ll leave for college and if those eight years are anything like the last ten, they will be gone in a blink of an eye.
I admit I may be a teeny bit melodramatic, but this realization has evoked some deep introspection. What am I doing right as Grant’s mom? Where am I failing him? What skills does he still need to be taught between now and then to be a self-sufficient, functioning member of society? How do I simultaneously protect and release him? It’s a daunting task this job called raising children.
Grant is such a good boy, in spite of being our parenting guinea pig. He’s loud and boisterous, stylish and fun, rough but kind, intelligent but teachable, athletic and musical, sweet and Godly. I often look at him in amazement and marvel that God entrusted me with such a treasure.
Last year Curt and I asked Grant if he wanted to read the Bible cover to cover with us in 2010. It required reading five chapters a day and by December 31st, he would have read the entire Old and New Testament once, the book of Proverbs twelve times, and the book of Psalms 2 ½ times. He thought about it for a while, declared he was up for the challenge, and immediately started getting up thirty minutes earlier every school day to make sure he had time to read the Word. He stuck with it the entire 365 days of 2010.
Tackling this task together created accountability for all three of us. It’s hard to ask your kid, “Did you read your Bible today?” if you haven’t done it yourself. The passages I skimmed over (genealogies, censuses and architectural plans) fascinated Grant. The “stuff on adultery” he found “sooooo boring,” but he loved all the battle stories and minor prophets filled with God’s passion for justice and making all things right. By starting with creation in Genesis and ending with Jesus setting up His eternal kingdom in Revelation, Grant’s knowledge of God’s big picture has grown.
Grant’s bedroom floor became home for his Bible because he’d see it each morning and remember to meet with God. When we traveled, his Bible came along. It’s been to Seattle, to Crater Lake, Mirror Lake, Timothy Lake, and on a road trip from here to Great Falls, Montana, and back. The binding is broken from being dropped multiple times and the gold-foiled picture is peeled off the front cover.
Grant’s dedication to develop his personal faith in God, to be a true follower of Jesus, and to finish what he started has moved me to tears on several occasions. His character has been developed and I see Jesus in my son. In eight years, my sweet boy will spread his wings and fly our coop and I’m having a moment about that. I know that in spite of my mistakes and inadequacies, God is faithful and I, “being confident of this” declare, “that He who began a good work in you, Grant Stilp, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) I can hardly wait to see the awesome Jesus-following dude you will be when you kiss my cheek and walk out that door. I love you and am SO proud of you!