In this faraway small shot stands two of my most precious worldy accomplishments. They stand precariously, especially the boy who is just learning to snowboard from his sister who stands victoriously as she has learned the skill and now flies down mountains. I am sitting on a coat by a conveyor belt which carries little ones up the gentle learning slope. I am older and sickly (from a bad cold) and take the role of watcher, cheer-er.
This morning, I went through a scrapbook I made for my daughter, covering birth through high school. How could I ever doubt our relationship, my intense efforts to make up for gaps, to funnel love, to direct in good directions? It floods every page. I do not have much more than the usual parent in the way of regrets, rather I was an exceptional parent. Yes, the high school years were brutal. I look at her pictures with friends she found, with boys, and I feel again the loss of who I wanted her to be. Yet she is her own person always -- independent in one way, vulnerable in others, and beautiful. I worry, like a normal good parent will do, but I really have done my best even in some difficult circumstances. I'm always there encouraging, cheering, and redirecting even through precarious courses.
In the scrapbook, I see myself as a young mother, not knowing, not knowing, all that it would take, all that it would give. Lord, have mercy on a young parent. Flood our world with your loving guidance and rest to grant us all. Thank you for my ability to see my two children grow in maturity, with familial love, and with Your grace throughout all of our lives. Amen.