My son’s room is being painted this week. The almost-13-yr-old’s almost-13-yr-old mural is being covered. Our eldest’s nursery is getting a makeover. And it’s about time, isn’t it?
I painted his room in the weeks leading up to his birth. I think I finished way before the date, but my wife might have a different recollection. It was fun, painting the mural to match his nursery quilt. I wasn’t perfect, wasn’t a professional, but thought it was a better-than-decent job. I don’t mind it being covered, and actually want to give him the upgrade he needs to make it more of his own, not just our idea for him but something he’s added to, made his, taken possession and ownership of in some way.
A couple of Sundays ago, he came to sit in the sanctuary with me instead of going to his middle school church time. He just wanted to – we were running a little late, but that shouldn’t have been a problem in there. Not sure why he would rather be in with me – his mom was working in the nursery area, so I was going in alone – but I do admit that I felt a little proud and good about myself in that moment. With all the angst I’ve shared and spwaned over the months, it’s been on my mind to make sure I don’t flounder the faith of my kids – that I help them grow in spite of my own shortcomings and feelings. I think it was affirmation on some level that, yes, they’re okay, and maybe it’s a good positive thing for them to be alongside as I make this faith my own, helping them make their faith their own, too, taking possession, ownership of things that really matter.
Add to that our weekly Sunday morning NPR time, and it’s a rather respectable and mature time in our house, me and our son. And there are such matue times, too, with our little girl growing up. And then I remember that he’s not grown yet, that he’s got a sister and they both bicker and annoy and get on each other’s and on my nerves. Honestly, it’s all good – not too fast, not too slow, just right somehow that we get to have this time to grow up together, learn from each other, find out who we are and what we’re about in a space that’s welcoming, forgiving, merciful, gracious, and difficult all at the same time.
And where we paint the walls sometimes, moving from the primary colors of kidhood to something … green (photos later, promise).