[Author’s Note: This post uses the analogy of being out of work. It is not meant to in any way produce discouragement in those who are facing work challenges or finding work challenges. My heart hurts for you. Please leave me a post with your first name I would count it an honor to pray for God to move on your behalf during this time.]
After almost 19 years of dedicated work I’m about to be let go – once in June, 2010 and again the in June, 2011. Seriously, I think once is enough, but with each child, the experience is repeated.
Once Sons A & B were old enough to understand the difference between white and black, they were separating laundry in our hallway. It was a game, I told them. They believed me and they learned a skill they began using in middle school – to do their own laundry.
Once Sons A & B were old enough to be around sharp objects safely, they were in the kitchen fetching ingredients, setting the table, eventually cooking and me stepping to the side.
Once Sons A & B were old enough they began to say, “It’s OK if you don’t want to come to my concert at school tonight.”
After Son B’s recent school event my husband grasped my hand and began leading me to the car.
“Wait,” I told him. “We need to stay and tell Son B what a good job he did.”
“We’ll see him at home,” my husband replied. “We can tell him there.”
“I feel so unnecessary,” I replied, tightening my grip in his safe, soft hand.
“That’s because you’ve done your job right,” he said.
And with that, I walked in silence to the car – choosing to become invisible as Son B did whatever it is sons and daughters do after an event and when their parents are not there to say, “Great job!”
It was just “yesterday,” when Sons A & B were 2 and 4 respectively that I let close friends take them on an outing to the mall – without me. I remember standing at the large, picture window of our first home with my hand placed against the glass as though I could vicariously put them safely in the car before it drove away.
“How are you ever going to let them go to college?” I remember my husband asking.
“Just let me let them go to the mall first,” I replied, my eyes blurry and moist.
And so I did let them go to the mall. And now, 14 years later, it’s time for Son A to wrap up his high school career and move into the next phase of his life.
What a blessing he will be to people who don’t know him yet. What a friend he will be to others whom he will meet in college. What a man he is becoming. I guess I have done my job. I’ve taught him what I knew. Admitted what I didn’t. I’ve prayed with him and for him. Never claimed perfection and still, somehow, I wish he were just going to the mall.
Soon, Son B will follow and again I will remind myself that after this season of life, I have done my best and always looked forward to affecting society positively through my adult children. Will they make mistakes? Of course. Will they learn from them? I hope so.
So now, God has told me a new prayer to pray: for Him to put them where they need to be, when they need to be there, so He can arrange for them to learn and do what they need to do to become the men He intends them to be. For mistakes? That they are not debilitating or lethal to themselves or others. And for them to always remember whose they are – His.
My job is done. I got to “borrow” them for a while.
Anyone want to go to the mall?
Just wondering: Are you recently “out of this type of work?” What is helpful for other women to know about this stage of life?