We have lived in a social vacuum the past many years – and I say that with all the pride and love in my heart. Our little family grew from two, to three, four, five and now six all within a relatively short while. We have been a little self contained unit when it comes to entertainment and social engagements. The boys have their brothers to play with, while my husband and I are busy wrangling, guiding and loving them all.
We haven’t intentionally lived like hermits, but we have just enjoyed our family life and thrived with each others company – and from a germ perspective (because that’s always how mama thinks) – life is just easier in a bubble.
But now the outside is starting to creep in. Jacob is reaching an age where he would love to have friends who don’t share his last name. He is meeting people at school and realizing the value in having buddies and playmates – other than his first pal, bunk mate, BFF – Jordan.
I have to lovingly let go, while holding on, but without clinging on. I have to make sure he has wings and roots – all at the same time. This I struggle with… How much do I give, how tight do I hold on?!
I find there is no uniform right or wrong. There is no one-size fits all. Every family, every mother and every child is different. For these answers I cannot turn to others for guidance.
Together my husband and I will have to reach deep inside of our hearts and try different approaches, tactics, ideas – see which one feels right for our family right here and right now. And the answer we find will probably change – remain fluid as the years go by. What works for Jacob, might not work for Jordan, Jansen or Jonah.
We, as a family, will have to gently open the door. We will listen to the sounds, take in the smells and ever so carefully step one foot at a time across the door step. I will have to fight the urge not to slam the door shut – and Jacob will try not to fling the door wide open. Together as a family we will step forward, as we let the outside in. Or is it the inside out?