Thanks to our friends at The Parent Cue for this great reminder.
I wasn’t expecting her joy to make me question mine.
Part of my job as a youth pastor has been to rally parents to embrace the development and growing independence of their children. Especially as they enter middle school. I remind them of how important it is to widen the adult circle for their kids. It’s not always been easy for them to hear or believe, and now I’m starting to understand why.
I empathize with parents and guess that it might feel weird to see another adult invested in their children, and even more weird to give away some of their moments to SOMEONE ELSE.
I really have been guessing all of these years. Because I didn’t totally get it for myself.
My second grader had this conversation with me as we were walking into church this weekend:
Kirra: “Mom, I can’t wait until I’m in middle school.”
Me: “That’s awesome Kirra, I know that will be an exciting time for you.”
Kirra: “Don’t you want to know why I can’t wait for middle school?”
Me: “Of course I want to know, why?”
Kirra: “Olivia! I can’t wait to get to know Olivia!”
That’s when I learned the gravity of what I had been asking parents to do all of these years, to imagine their influence to be bigger than their house.
Olivia is our church’s new middle school pastor and my daughter is looking forward to knowing her someday.
Because of what I have learned from the parents who I have walked with, I know that this is the one thing that could hurt my child—letting my right as a parent get in the way of her discovering a world bigger than our house.
Olivia is someone that she can’t wait to get to know.