It must be love …

It’s a gloomy day in GGHQ … the holidays have ended and the Junior GGs are back to school.  For one boy in particular this is a day he has been worrying about since the last day of term.  I find it heartbreaking (as would any parent) to see him so anxious and worried … my scampering, feisty, lovable, giggling, chatty boy retreats into his shell as we get nearer to school each day and doesn’t really appear again until he gets back to the safety of home.  I find it sad that his teachers don’t really see the real boy … he doesn’t misbehave in school, he sits quietly and does his work which is great … but they’re missing out on the character that we have the privilege of knowing at home. 

As a parent I don’t believe I’m alone in questioning decisions and doubting myself at times … when the boys were little I often thought I would love to home-school them.  For a number of reasons Mr GG and I decided not to go down the home-school route, not least because of the social difficulties our children have … we felt that there was a danger they could become more isolated and even less able to interact socially.  Were we right?  I honestly don’t know.  Watching my lad struggle more at school as each year passes I question our decision.  I miss the boys dreadfully when they go back to school after holidays … that first day I always feel at a loose end and as if something is missing (it is … three rambunctious, noisy, crashing boys) … the house is too quiet (although today Mr GG is working from home which helps) … I’m constantly clock-watching until I go to collect the youngest two (only 38 minutes to go).

However, on the positive side, for me at least, I’m able to concentrate once more on the Love Dare.  The book had been set aside during the holidays so that I could fully concentrate on GG Family Time … and I wasn’t disappointed!

Today’s subject is love.  It’s an interesting subject isn’t it … love manifests itself in so many ways … I feel love towards my friends which is totally different to the love I feel for Mr GG which, again, is totally different for the love I feel for each of the Junior GGs. 

I well remember feeling a bit panicky at times just before Son No1 was born and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to love a child (I’m a bit of a worrier, just like my lad).  I also clearly remember the first time I saw him … I wasn’t overwhelmed with a feeling of love but rather a feeling of “So, who are you then?” as I looked at him.  Quite possibly the drugs that I’d been fed at the birth had an impact on me because I was really quite numb (and exhausted) but there is certainly no doubt that the love I feel now for Son No1 and Sons No2&3 is absolutely overwhelming and real.  Not so long ago I was reading about Jacob & Esau with the boys and we were talking about how Jacob was Rachel’s favourite son, I (slightly foolishly) asked the boys which one of them I loved most … I was heartened that they all immediately replied “None, you love us all the same” … phew!

Anyway, back to the love we have as parents for our children.  It’s immense!  I can’t imagine anyone loving my boys the way I do … feeling that rush of protection for them … hurting when they hurt … bursting with pride over the slightest thing they do … crying inside when I realise how much the world can hurt them … desiring only good for them … striving to teach them well … melting when they’ve had a horrendously naughty day but look so angelic when they’re sleeping … I could go on …

Yet, the Bible tells me that God loves them even more than me.  The Bible also tells me that God knows my boys better than I do and desires good for them even more than I do … I have to say that blows my mind and fries my wee brain … and makes me thankful. 

I’d like to quote today’s Dare in full … I love it:

“If possible, remind your children today that “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and that he deeply loves them.  Pray with them that they will always know they can call on him as their loving, heavenly Father and pray for yourself, that God will help you receive his love for you and make you a channel of his love to your children (John 15:9).”  (Stephen & Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare for Parents, B & H Publishing Group, p74)

I began by mentioning the worries my son has about school.  His worries aren’t only limited to school … anything can cause him anxiety, the list grows, it seems, with every passing day.  One thing works with my lad.  Prayer.  When he is feeling anxious he likes us to pray with him, reminding him that God is with him, that God is always there for him to talk to.  Recently he has mentioned a few times that he doesn’t have any friends but then when I ask if he’d like friends he replies “No, it’s fine.  Jesus is my friend and he’s my best friend.”  I’d love my boy to have peer-friends and it hurts me to see him walking around the playground at school on his own but I’m learning that he’s content as he is.  I’ll never stop praying for my boys, I thank God for them every day and give thanks for the amazing family that I’m part of. 

Now, the 38 minutes have all but passed and it’s time to get my coat on and brave the rain to do the school run … in just a few minutes my home will be filled with noise once more … what could be better …

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