It’s 3:15 on Friday afternoon and Christian is just getting home. He got up 7 this morning hooked up the trailer, got all the lawn mowing gear and left at 7:30 to go mow a yard. Yes, you heard that right, one yard.
At about 8:15am the phone rang, when I answered it I heard, “Mom, I had a blowout.”
“On the van?”
“No, on the trailer.”
“Well, there’s a spare. You will need to change it.”
“I tried, the bolts are completed rusted on. They won’t budge.”
“Do we have any WD40 in the van.”
“Well, what do you think you should do.”
“I don’t know.”
“You’re in charge, any ideas?”
So, this began yet another opportunity for growth for both us. Me at home without transportation and Christian facing the first real challenge he’s experienced since being a driver. I begin to pray…for both of us.
He pulled into the local high school, locked down the trailer and went to get some Liquid Wrench at an auto store that was nearby. The next call informed me that the liquid wrench didn’t work. He would have to hook up the trailer and drive it to the auto store…on the rim. After a few blocks he pulled over and tried again, this time the liquid wrench worked. He calls to tell me that he’s on his way to air up the spare tire and then on to mow. It’s now about 11 o’clock.
At about 11:15 the phone rings again. “Mom, the tire exploded.”
“I was airing the tire up and it’s dry rotted and exploded.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I guess I need to go buy a new tire.”
“They sell them at Walmart.”
This leads to more testing of my resolve to not rescue him. Everthing in my mama’s heart says go to him, help him. He’s frustrated. He just wants to go mow and get home and get a shower. After all, he left early so that he wouldn’t have to mow in the 100 degree heat.
I’m thinking about how maybe I should call Carl and see if he can go to him. Who am I kidding? Carl treats him like a man and rightly so. He probably wouldn’t go and then I’d be mad. Maybe I can call a friend who lives nearby to come get me? No, that won’t work, I don’t have anyone to stay with my younger children. I begin to tell myself that Christian is fully capable, which he is.
The next call informs me that Walmart no longer carries them, but the tire store next door did and it cost $65. Can I transfer money to his checking account? Absolutely.
He later calls to tell me it’s raining and he’s only halfway done. He’s going to wait it out but he’ll text when he coming home.
I’m now at the stage of parenting where I need to let Christian go. Go make his own decisions. Go be his own man. Go do what God has for him to do. Of course, I’ll always be here for guidance but I don’t need to rescue him. He doesn’t need me to rescue him. We’ve spent years teaching him, not just schooling him, but teaching him how to do things like change a tire and make decisions.
From the first phone call to the last I saw insecurity melt away to confidence. Confidence that can only come from doing what needs to be done and succeeding at it. Had I gone, or Carl gone, to help him we would be telling him that he really isn’t capable. And that is certainly not what I want to teach my children.