Luke is on a mission to choose his future career.
He’s 11, mind you. But this fact does not deter him because he subscribes to the notion of Always Be Prepared.
For years he has unswervingly declared that he will play Major League baseball, and his back-up plan has been to become a checker at Walgreens. In recent months, he changed the dream up a bit when he decided that he and his dad will renovate houses like Property Brothers. (Luke claims he will close the deals, and his dad will do the manual labor.)
That plan isn’t too far off base considering that when my home renovation ideas have dollar signs like let’s redo the master bath, Larry’s response is I can do that myself.
I mean I’ve always claimed this blog is sort of like a reality show and all, but I imagined it more along the lines of the Kardashians (because our glamorous life of course) not HGTV.
But I digress.
Luke recently came home from school with a Career Research Project assignment. This resurfaced his MLB dreams, but his research raised questions in terms of career longevity. (Thankfully he viewed the average MLB career length of 5.5 years as a concern.)
So he reassessed Plan B, and declared his new career pursuit to be mechanical engineering (if he’s not drafted). Which sounds about as exciting as counting ceiling tiles, but that’s just me.
Since I can’t even help him with elementary math homework, it’s a good thing higher education isn’t home schooled, but I think that goes without saying.
All this career talk at ELEVEN (seriously though) tempted me to pull out the baby books just so I could confirm he’s MY BABY and not this pre-pubescent man-child. (I stopped short of that because it seemed a little too dramatic and emotional.) (Also because I remembered I never finished the baby book, and that would inspire other sorts of mom-guilt I choose to ignore.)
Following that logical thought process, I had flashbacks to leadership training where Stephen Covey books told me to, “Begin with the end in mind.” When I first heard that, I had no idea the impact the quote would have on my parenthood.
It’s safe to say I also had NO CLUE at that point that parenting would be, like, the hardest job ever. Or that it would require longevity well beyond that of an MLB player evidently.)
Basically, this 5th grade career project freaked me out and forced me to evaluate this reality:
God gave me a child.
Therefore this child is a gift.
God says to steward well the gifts I’ve been given. (Matt. 25:14-30)
Which means parenthood serves an eternal purpose beyond teaching a child to tie his shoes.
My end goal of parenting is to raise a son who will reach adulthood with the real life knowledge of who God is and who he is in Christ, and to equip him with the tools to live his life uniquely well.
He’s not just mine. He’s the Lord’s.
My son will grow up. He’ll have a job, responsibilities, and real life bills to pay. My mom-role is to equip him for adulthood with effective life skills which (hopefully) include how to successfully land his clothes in a laundry basket instead of the floor, and how to slap peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread.
My son will need to know how to handle rejection and success; he’ll need communication skills, and he’ll need to know how to budget money and time. He’ll also need compassion, perseverance, and wisdom.
Ironically, I’ve spent the last couple of years attempting to nail down how seminary and writing and bible-study teaching are all supposed to work together in my own life.
When for CRYING OUT LOUD, it occurred to me that I have my student right in front of me. I have a disciple to grow, and he lives right here in this house.
Perhaps I should focus my own career on his character growth and development. I can’t help him with calculus tips, but if I can teach this kid about who Jesus really is…and help him experience the love and grace of Christ…then he will be sufficiently equipped with the things that matter most.
There’s always the microwavable mac and cheese if he doesn’t master cooking class, and if a baseball career doesn’t pan out, I’m sure Walgreens would be delighted to have him.
The thing is y’all, I just got a whole new appreciation for this gift of God called parenting. I mean can you even believe God entrusted you with someone’s precious LIFE?
That’s a pretty staggering level of trust given to this mother who halfway wonders if I’ve pointed my child toward a future therapist’s office more than I’ve pointed him to Jesus. (This is where I fully cling to Jesus and his power to redeem every single thing we turn over to him.)
This isn’t a post on parenting advice. I don’t have suggestions on methods or chore charts. But I hope you’ll now consider what the end goal of parenting is for you. Because we shape our child’s future today, one way or the other.
Have mercy, Lord.
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