Friday, February 11, 2011

Letting your kids leave Nazareth.

"And Nathanael said to him, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'" ~ John 1:46

Even in the happiest and most close-knit of families, there comes times when everyone dreads a big family get-together. Because there seems to be one thing that families everywhere are guilty of.

Not letting each other change.

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. It's the son who grows up to be a successful investment banker, but can't live down his reputation as a wild party-guy because of his sister's wedding 10 years ago when he showed up hungover and puked on the priest. Or an actress whose family still teases her about the time in kindergarten when she had such bad stagefright that she fainted and fell off the stage.

We have such a bad tendency in families to squeeze our loved ones into labelled boxes and never let them out. So one cousin is the "crazy one", and another is "the prude". Even if those descriptions haven't been accurate for twenty years.

It's a natural response. It's discomfiting to feel that our families can change on us. Family is supposed to be stable, reliable. Even if you don't see your relatives that often, it's a nice thought that you can always come home and everything will be as you left it.

But, on the other hand, we find it incredibly frustrating when our family refuses to acknowledge that we've changed, grown up, moved on.

Even Jesus had the same problem when he tried to go home. He had been performing miracles and gathering followers all over the land, but when he returned to Nazareth, no one was impressed. This guy couldn't be the Messiah! He was just Mary and Joseph's kid, the carpenter's son. They couldn't see who he'd became because they were too blinded by who he'd been.

So I have a goal for myself, as a mom. Though I love my son and find him perfect just the way he is, I will try to recognize that who he is now might not be who he'll always be. Someday, my little cheesy, outgoing ham of a kid might be painfully shy. Though an athletic little adventurer now, he might have no interest in sports later.

And that's okay. I'll try not to pressure him with, "But you loved basketball when you were two," if he decides he'd rather join marching band when he's twelve. Because no matter who he is or what he does, he is my son.

With whom I am well pleased.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really nice article.

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