We missed it! After all the hard work our son had done, we missed his first state-level Bible drill. This had to rank as one of the worst goofs of my parenting career.
I'd been worrying about my middle child. The other two had their piano and dance, but this one was having trouble finding his niche. At last, he latched on to Bible drill — memorizing Scripture verses and finding books at lightning speed. He worked at it for months, passed the church and association drills and moved on to state-level competition.
My husband and I drove to the host church for state and arrived with time to spare. Since our son had arrived earlier with his leader, we found our way to the sanctuary and got good seats. I settled back and listened to the first drill halfheartedly, since our son wasn't in this group. After a few rounds, though, I noticed these kids were quoting the King James Version. My son had learned the New International Version. My face flushed with panic. Could we be in the wrong place, watching the wrong drill?
By the time we found the right room, my son's group was already in the process of drilling. I looked at the stern-faced woman guarding the door. "Can we — ?"
"Sorry," she said. "I can't let you in until they're done." We stood in the hall feeling miserable.
"Guess we're up for Parents of the Year," my husband growled under his breath.
Tears formed as I thought of my son standing up there and searching the crowd for our faces. What if he panicked or lost his composure because we weren't there?
At the end of the drill, we were allowed to enter the room. Our son greeted us with a smile.
"I didn't see you," he said. "Were you sitting in the back?" His father told him what happened.
"I feel so horrible about it." I waited for his words of disappointment.
"That's OK, Mom. You couldn't help it. And guess what," he said, giving me a hug. "I passed!"
That was it. No whining. No tears. No anger. His reaction was that of a confident young man, not a child.
My husband and I missed his Bible drill, but we caught a glimpse of something else, something much bigger. Our son had passed the drill by himself — without us, without me. Our absence became a test of his maturity. This, too, he had passed. As he smiled at us, I realized I needed to stop worrying about my middle child and trust God with his life, even when I goofed as a parent.
This article first appeared in the Tween Ages edition of the February/March 2007 issue of the Focus on Your Child newsletters. Copyright © 2007 by Beth W. Prassel. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com
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