You know, it’s interesting, this whole Facebook phenomenon. I have heard from and seen photos of people I haven’t heard from or seen in 15-20 years, the past month since I signed up. Sometimes the reunions are a bit shocking (“you’re doing WHAT?” “you married WHO?”), and others I am not surprised at all, the course a life took. There are even some people (darn them) who don’t look like they’ve aged a bit.
I must admit a certain amount of chagrin at some of the ‘reunions’. A memory of a more immature me, words I’d like to have said or left unsaid…so many things. And I hope they don’t only remember me in that way. We’ve all changed and grown since back then, I like to think.
It reminds me to let other people grow, change, be free of whatever label they had when I last knew them. And also to give grace to my own kids as they struggle through these awkward years of growing, as they learn to find their own identities. It can be a messy, difficult process. And I need to be reminded to not label them as ‘the one who always forgets his wallet’ (well, he does), or the ‘dramatic’ one, or…well, you get it.
You probably have some of them too. It’s hard not to take a mental ‘snapshot’ of someone, even our own children, then always think of them that way. I seem to recall Diana Waring mentioning this in her book Reaping the Harvest. Good stuff.
I still maintain after 17 years of parenting, that the most difficult part for me is in the knowing how much and when to let go. After all, their purpose is to become their own people, walking their own walk with God. Grace. It goes a long way.