Friday, October 3, 2014

Raising Caterpillars

Some parents desire to raise clones of themselves.  Not me.  My top parenting priority has always been to discover the uniqueness in our children and foster their individual talents.  My direct parenting days are coming to a close as our youngest prepares himself for army boot camp.  Fortunately, my wife and I acknowledged our son's calling at an early age and embraced it even though neither of us know much about the military.

Parenting is like raising caterpillars.  When your children are first born you have no idea what they are going to turn into.  They are dependent on you for everything.  At some point, usually the teenage years, they enter the cocoon stage.  It's a challenge to communicate during this stage because the progression to adulthood isn't finished.  Our youngest desperately wants to be a butterfly.  His transformation is nearly complete.  He didn't wait for boot camp to get in top shape.  He started training the day he signed the papers.  Mama butterfly hoped he would pick any job except infantry.  That's like asking a butterfly to clip his wings.  I told our son to follow his dreams.  He is.  Now he's about to leave the cocoon and fly away.  Shane came home from future soldier training last night and told us, "my sergeant said I'm a squad leader now."  It looks like the last caterpillar in our family earned his wings.

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