A few comments readers have left on this blog lately have given me a great deal to think about.
Am I wrong to consider that the best thing for Jeremiah is for us to find a group home situation for him?
Is this an abandonment of my child or the greatest chance he has for fulfillment and a richer life?
Are we looking at what is convenient for us, or are we truly giving him the chance to be happy in seeking his own path in life, as limited as that may be under the watchful eyes?
I’ve given much thought to the idea of family. Perhaps my view of it is screwed up.
I’ve reason to suspect my point of view. First, readers I respect have obviously different views than mine. Readers who seem to agree with me also share my American outlook. Is this a cultural bias? That people are happiest when they seek a life of their own... the whole biblical thing: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesians 5:31
Or am I rationalizing, using the Bible to justify a point of view?
Is this loving?
I think it is. At least it feels that way... For I love Jeremiah deeply, I’m willing to give him anything. And I think that being as independent as possible, being able to go to the movies when he wants, being able to choose what job he takes, learning to handle his own finances, being as much independent as possible, might make him happier than a life where his mother and I keep him in a bedroom and take him places we choose.
But I may be wrong. I often am. Perhaps my view on this is screwed up.
I am driving down to Southern California in a couple of weeks. My dad is doing something stupid and I told him I would come and watch. he has had a motorcycle built, a custom job, from the frame on up, and he is seeking to set a world record. The crazy old fart (70) is going to sit on a nitro fuel-guzzling 400 horsepower bike and streak across a dry lake bed.
I just paused in writing this to watch Jeremiah wipe a tear from his eye as the aged Rose in Titanic has dropped her diamond necklace, the Heart of the Ocean, into the North Atlantic in memory of Jack. I went over to him and gave him a hug.
Where was I? Yeah... my dad.
I’ve feared him all my life. I have difficulty respecting him because of the choices he has made, is making, and probably will always make. Frankly, the real reason I am driving a thousand miles to see him is because I think that he hates getting old so much that he would rather get killed attempting a world record than continue as a 70 year old man. so I am going down there to buy him a beer, have a conversation with him, let him know that I love him and I worry about his salvation.
He wasn’t much of a father to me. His taunts and ridicule as I grew up, his open mocking of my desire to learn, his explicit discouragement of going to college, even of finishing high school put me into a series of jobs that I was not suited for.
My two boys and I took our dog, Rocky on a walk this afternoon. There was an occasional bit of light rain, but beneath the canopy of the woods we hardly noticed. I told them that I wanted them to come with me to California. I explained the purpose of the trip, and a general idea of where we would be on each day of the week and a half trip.
Jeremiah is excited to go. Isaac has reservations.
I told them about how I feel about family. That it is important to keep in touch with family, to visit them when we can. That we can have a guys’ trip, eat junk food, stay up late, do all the stuff that Mommy usually wouldn’t let us do.
And throughout the conversation, as we walked through trillium and blackberries, past douglas fir and giant leaf maples, I kept thinking about what my kids mean to me and what is the right thing for me to be doing with them.
As I prayed with Isaac last night at his bed, he asked me to anoint him with oil. something that I do sporadically. So I did.
And it all confuses me. I do so many things with and for my children that I wish my father had done. I kiss them. I hug them. I pray for their future mates, wherever they may be, that they are godly women who will bless their lives.
And I feel a tightness in my chest when I think that my father is a selfish man who worries that people are after his wealth... all I want from him is a kind word.
I read once that during the Roman Empire a man could disown his natural son, but not an adopted child. The philosophy was that people have little choice about who is born into their family, unless they are adopted.
I chose my children and I pray, I truly pray, that I will make choices for my children that make them happy, healthy.
My dad’s dad was adopted. It’s a sad story. He was a good man. His step sons got drunk and beat him to death when I was in the third grade.
I followed after my birth parents, who did many selfish things, and I was headed for a life that was quite lost.
But I got adopted.
I was introduced into my adoptive family by Jesus. I was adopted into a heavenly family, God’s family, my adoption fees paid by my big brother, paid by His life.
So I’m feeling a little mixed up. My feelings for my children, my feelings for my father... Conflicting feelings over Jeremiah’s future, Isaac’s reluctance to go with me on this trip, even mixed feelings about this blog. Planning my parenting. Planning a trip. Planning my week.
But it’s my journey. It’s surprising I don’t get called to task for things more often than I do.
God bless all!