As we enter this new season, Zac and I have been wondering how we should navigate and relate to our son. We are praying for wisdom as we make decisions about middle school. I don’t have any answers, really. But I do know what not to do for for my young boy becoming a man. Of course I want for him to fall in love with Christ, and experience a faith that’s all his own. Obviously I want him to choose the way of purity. And I really want him to just be him, and grow into the unique personality that God has given him. With all of those things in mind, though, here’s one thing we know we won’t be doing: we will not have low expectations of him.
I was reminded of this a couple weeks ago while I sat in the coffee shop early one morning. I’m there often enough that I’ve gotten to know the regulars, and we’ve been able to have lots of good conversations. One morning stands out though. As I retreated to my corner to get work done, I overheard the guys talking about teenagers. One of them made a comment that made my blood boil, and I had to restrain myself from yelling across the coffee shop that what he said wasn’t true. He said that teenagers, especially middle schoolers, were all just troublemakers and rebellious hoodlums. Well, he didn’t use those exact words, but the message was the same. Teenagers mess up, and they screw up, and they're stupid, and a big fat mess. Anyone who parents middle schoolers knows this just isn’t true. Yes, they can be tricky and moody. But overall, they’re good kids. They are trying to find their place in life. Growing up is hard. And it’s even harder when the adults around you don’t expect greatness from you.
Here’s what I expect of our boy as he grows: lots of love, laughter and more of that dry sense of humor that brings life to everyone around him. And we expect great things, because we know he has it in him to achieve greatness.