In my attempt to be a good mother, I check in with my college son with a text or phone call on the weekends. Saturday was no exception as I sent the simple message, “Hi.”
He replied, “Light saber fencing can’t talk.”
Two images flashed through my mind. The first was a disheveled version of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Skillet T-shirt and faded black jeans. The second was a little boy, holding one of three toy light sabers and standing beside a garbage can.
That second one was a brilliant parenting moment.
A mother becomes concerned about the childish barbarism of her sons pummeling one another with plastic, collapsible weaponry. She grows weary of replacing such cheap replicas to appease them. She runs out of patience and bandages. Consequently, she demands her sons collect their light sabers and throw them in the trash. The youngest, still believing everything in life is a game, tosses his treasure aside without a moment’s hesitation. The middle one releases it with relief and regret. He is learning that wielding any weapon requires self-control. The oldest experiences realization’s impact. Loss comes as a result of unwise actions, especially begging for a toy he is not yet responsible to use correctly.
Thankfully, children grow. Mothers can, too.
That first image brightened my countenance and my parental perspective.
A smile crosses my face knowing my nineteen-year-old still believes everything in life is a game. Rather than experiencing the regret of poor college-life choices, he is relieving stress with self-control. My former brilliant parenting moment is confirmed in knowing he learned from my correction at the garbage can.
He tossed aside a temporary treasure without losing lasting understanding, responsibility, and wisdom.
In my next brilliant parenting moment, I typed back, without hesitation, “Carry on!”