Have you ever answered, “Growing like a weed” when someone asked how your children were?
When the children are little, you see the major developmental milestones: talking, crawling, walking, sleeping through the night. When they are just a little bit older, you are amazed by how quickly they go from being the height of your knees to taller than you are. In the later teen years they become young adults.
This week, our eldest child received his travel orders to head away for Military College. Where is the baby boy with the golden curls cascading around his ears. What happened to the toddler who flapped his arms and cried, “It hurts too much!” when we pulled off a band-aid? Where is the pre-adolescent who spent hour upon hour juggling a soccer ball or the teen who discovered the joys of driving and lifeguarding and travel?
Now, standing before me is a young man. A young man who has his own dreams and goals. A young man who is excited to be independent of his parents. A young man ready to take on the responsibilities of being an adult.
When we say that our children are growing like weeds, we are generally referring to their physical development. If we take a deeper look, however, I think we can see that there is more to it.
Weeds grow well because they are strongly rooted. They grow prolifically because of how they share what they have (seeds). They grow through the spring, summer and fall (and winter if you live in the right climate) because they are hardy.
No matter how much they get picked at, weeds just keep coming back. They are insistent and persistent. Weeds grow because that is what they were designed to do.
Considering my little boy, I can only pray that he will continue to grow like a weed. All through his growing up years, we have nurtured his roots and tried to make sure that he has had the nourishment for a strong foundation. Can you imagine what would happen if you fertilized dandelions?
Now that he is heading out on his own, our job of training and shepherding is changing. We will be here to counsel and guide but instead of on our terms, it will be more on his schedule. This is going to be hard! As parents, we believe we know what is best for a our children and I doubt that that will change very much just because he is living away from us. But, just as God grew him from a baby to a young man, He will transform him into a man in due time.
Our biggest job now is to pray that as the Enemy is weeding our son’s roots are firm. I have no doubt that mistakes will be made along the way – I have certainly made my share, but if the foundation is solid then our son should be able to be healthy and strong and bloom in all seasons of his life.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.