The Terror Of Growing Up

Dear Lewis,

Tomorrow you’ll be 10 months old. I’m blown away by how much you’re already capable of on you own. You’ve even begun flirting with walking! You’re taking a few steps before you get so excited you fall on your face.

I remember bringing you home from the hospital. You were 8 pounds of helpless cuteness. I remember how fragile you were, and how careful we were when holding you. Your mom and I were so scared we’d fail to take care of you.

Now look at you…you’re amazing. You’re also terrifying.

Your mom used to say, “I can’t wait until he learns to roll over. Then we won’t have to worry about SIDS.” You learned to roll over at 3 months! But while we stopped worrying about SIDS we had new worries. Would you roll off the changing table, or off the bed, or under the bed? We had to be even more aware of what you were doing than ever.

Not too long after that you started trying to crawl. You’d get so frustrated, propped up on your hands and knees, but unable to go anywhere. You’d cry, and we would say, “I can’t wait until he learns to crawl. Then he won’t cry every time he rolls onto his belly.”

Eventually, you did start crawling. You even quit crying every time you rolled onto your stomach. But your newfound mobility brought new worries. You started exploring the apartment, getting into everything. We worried you’d tumble down the entryway stairs, or get stuck behind the couch, or pull over plants and eat too much dirt.

It seems like the more you become capable of doing the more we have to watch over and protect you.

Now, you’re flirting with walking. Your mom and I cheer you on as you take steps toward us. Yesterday, your mom said, “I can’t wait for him to learn to walk. Won’t it be cool to walk with him at the park!?”

I’ve learned my lesson: I’m excited for you to learn to walk, but I’m also terrified. I know you’re going to be more active and independent than ever. I know you’ll have more fun, but you’ll also be in more danger.

Lewis, before we know it you’ll learn to ride a bike, and then drive a car, maybe pilot a blimp. You’ll go to your first day of kindergarten, then high school, and then…who knows! You’ll make friends, make a life of your own, maybe even make a family. These things terrify me because eventually I’m not going to be able to watch over you like I do now.

But God will.

I’m 30 years old and still, everyday, I pray, “God, I need you. I need you more today than I did yesterday.” That’s because I’m doing more today, taking bigger risks today, living more dangerously today than I did yesterday.

Lewis, I can tell you from experience that as you grow, God seems to grow. As your dreams get bigger, God gets bigger. As your risks become greater God becomes greater.

I am begging you, Lewis: Don’t limit God. He’s a big God. The world will see that most clearly if you live a big, dangerous life.

So keep going and keep growing. I’ll keep growing with you, and I’ll take care of you for as long as I can. But when your life, your passion, your calling outgrows my tiny realm of control, I promise you, that’s right where you’ll find God.

That’s when all the fun really begins. That’s when all the danger really begins. That when life really begins.

I love you, Lewis. God loves you more.

– Dad

photo credit: Climbing via photopin (license)

In the past, how has God shown He’s been there as you face new challenges and take new risks?

So what’s preventing you from living a big, dangerous life now?

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