Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My son is graduating and I've caught my pants on fire!

After the storm, we were left with a number of downed trees in our yard. As the man of the house, it was my responsibility to get my chainsaw out and start taking those trees apart. Unfortunately, I do not own a chainsaw, so I had to wait for a crew of skilled woodsman to come help me. I felt much like a damsel in distress. Nonetheless, the burly bear men came to my house and cut up my trees as I delivered them cold cups of lemonade. Is this a mild exaggeration . . . maybe mild, but you get my point. At least I was able to remove the brush and stack the wood, but, for the first time in my life, I felt completely helpless and removed from that action around me.

This continued on earlier this week when we took my son to register for Kindergarten. My son is five and he has been in church nurseries, parents night out events, and pre-school programs, but those were all short-term and temporary. Kindergarten is the beginning of formal education and represents long-term and permanent change. I was concerned about how my son would take the transition until we got to registration. Immediately he gravitated to another young boy, also registering for kindergarten with his grandmother.

My son walked up to the boy and said, “Hi, want to come to my house and play?” so much for my concerns about making friends. It was at that moment that I realized that it wasn’t my son I was worried about, it was me. The world is moving around me and I am just beginning to recognize how little control I have.

I continued to work around the pile of burning brush in our yard, trying to remove the evidence of the devastation our community has suffered and I pondered this reality. My control is limited, even in areas where I thought I had total control, I have little. I was deep in thought and pondering this firm reality when I felt a stinging on my calf. I believed I had probably stepped onto a nest of fire ants and looked down at my pants to determine the source of this stinging when I realized I had gotten too close to the burn pile and caught myself on fire. Yes, my pant leg was aflame. I quickly put myself out (never thought I’d write that sentence) and laughed. I had been so distracted by what I could not control, that I lost sight of what I could . . . case in point – catching myself on fire.

As we walked our son up to the school to register for school, he turned to me and in an excited tone asked, “Daddy, is this for real? Is this really happening?” I smiled and realizing that I did not want to miss the joy of watching him grow up by focusing on my lack of control, I said to myself, “Yes it is, and I will sit back and enjoy it with you.” Maybe now I can focus on burning that brush and not my pants.

No comments:

Post a Comment