I am not a very good blogger or writer for that matter, but I felt I must record this event in my life.
A few weeks ago, Andrew and I took Abby to the University of Kentucky for merit weekend. It was an invitation only opportunity for incoming freshmen to get to register for classes for the following fall. Audrey was home with Grandma and Grandpa, so we knew she was cared for and we could concentrate on Abby.
We had the opportunity to listen to several sessions from key folks on campus explaining “college life” now and how it all works. Some of the sessions were with our student and some were just for the parents. There was a Q & A time. During that time, I felt out of place listening to questions. It seemed the parents were so apprehensive about not being able to control or be in “the know” about their student’s life. “I” right now, (and things could change, especially if my hormones get out of wack!) am so excited for our daughter. This is a wonderful time and I think should be celebrated!
I do remember perhaps when the Lord began to show me how to “trust” Abby and the “Jesus in Abby.” She was about 3-years-old. We were on an adventure…going to the big town of Nashville to Bellevue Mall. It is about an hour and a half away. “I” was very apprehensive that day and yet excited at the same time. After marrying the most wonderful man in the world I moved from a town with many malls and only 3 hours from the beach to a city with a tiny mall and 8 hours from the beach. So for Abby and me to be going to Nashville, it was like going to the mall and the beach at the same time!
In the middle of the Bellevue Mall there is ( or at least was then) this large playground complete with a seesaw, plenty of things to climb on (and get hurt), and a big frog that one could climb and sit on! Abby said to me “I want to sit on that frog!” I told her I didn’t know about that. (That’s my way of parenting sometimes…hoping they will forget and I won’t have to say “no” so many times.)
Here’s the dilemma: the playground was on the next level down with no elevator to get to that level There were only steps all the way around the seemingly large perimeter. There were not just a few steps either, probably about 20 all the way around. No big deal!… unless your Mama is in a wheelchair!
With every shopping venture in each store, even the children’s stores, Abby’s mind was on the frog. She was patient, but continued to ask, “May I please go sit on that frog?” Finally I began to tear up and as best I could explained to her that I could not get to her if she fell and got hurt…that she would have to walk all the way down those steps by herself and also all the way up to get back to me… that if she fell off the frog I could not get to her. (I didn’t get into the strangers grabbing her and running away with her on the other side of the playground. I thank the Lord that I didn’t give her all my paranoia!) Abby said, “I can do it and you can watch me!” So… I did.
Abby does not get in a hurry (still to this day)! So I watched as she slowly made her way down all of those steps, one foot then the other joining it on the same step, one at a time. I was a mess! I was doing the “ugly cry!” I’m already in a wheelchair so if someone saw me, they would know that I needed help. Thankfully the Lord allowed the mall to not be so crowded at that time of day, not many folks around…just Abby and me with the Lord teaching me a huge lesson about parenting. She made it to the frog, climbed aboard, and just sat. Once she waved at me, but for the most part, she just sat and looked around…taking it all in, perhaps from a different perspective. She had done that all by herself and I just watched. She had to feel good about herself. I bet she sat on “that frog” for a good 20 minutes. One little boy also climbed on the frog and Abby got off. When the boy was finished, she climbed up again. Finally she came back up the steps, carefully just as she had done going down. She met me with a hug, and I told her how proud I was of her. She quickly climbed up on my lap and said, “Can we go home now?” I said, “Yes ma’am.” The lesson was complete. As we drove home, Abby napped, but I prayed again through tears.
Now with regard to her going off to college, I have an opportunity to trust Abby when she says, “I can do it. You can watch me.” I believe in “Abby,” but more importantly I believe in the “One” who lives inside of Abby. No, I will not get to “watch” every movement in her life as I was able to witness even how she responded to the boy who climbed on the frog, but I will be able to see the results of what He does “in” her.
So I may be a little weird, but I am excited for Abby. I want to “watch” from the perimiter and see what He does in this precious girl’s life! Still 14 years later, I am grateful for that frog!
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.