And then I began making sure that they would not fall. At first they seemed comforted knowing that I was there in case they lost their footing and ended up landing on their bottoms or falling forward into a piece of furniture or onto the floor. But, after a while they seemed a bit bothered that I seemed to be hovering to make sure that they didn't fall. My husband would encourage me to move away from the boys, especially, to give them the space they needed to explore and possibly fall.
That was hard for me and still is. At 22, 11 and almost 9, they continue to wander farther away from me and I feel like I need to move in closer in case they fall. I don't want there to be bruises or tears. I don't want them to experience the hardships of growing up and making mistakes. I want to be right there, protecting them, catching them when they stumble.
But, I know that I can be there for them without the hovering. That they need to experience life and make mistakes. And I can be there when they fall, wiping away the tears and encouraging them to get right back up and to try again.
I have bruises. I have made mistakes and experienced hardships. I am sure it was not easy for my Heavenly Father to watch me as I wandered away from Him, from the safety of His embrace. But, He lets me explore and challenge the boundaries and suffer the consequences and patiently waits for me to turn back around and into His grace.