I sat on our front steps that afternoon and watched with some anxiety while my husband showed our son how to ride his bike. We were so happy with our five year old’s success. Later I watched him as he whizzed down the street, both arms in the air. “Look, Mom, I’m flying!” he shouted. It was suddenly for him to spread his wings.
“Be careful,” I told him. “Look out for pedestrians, and keep your helmet fastened.”
Just yesterday, it seems, he was twelve months old and learning to walk. By the time he reached seven, Johnny was skating down the rough pavement in front of our home.
By eleven he began playing hockey. It seemed at each turn in the road I would instruct him, “Be careful, Johnny. Keep your helmet fastened and your eyes on the other players.”
Then at twelve, came skateboarding. By this time he wore braces on his teeth, and he had become more muscular and taller than his friends. As I observed him doing some basic moves on his board, again I warned, “Keep your helmet on! And remember, no jumping off high walls!”
Time marches on. At sixteen, Johnny stands six-feet, two-inches and continues to mastered new skills. He has a part-time job and may decide to go away to college when he graduates from high school.
Yet he really surprised me the other day when he announced, “Mom, I’m saving my money to take flight lessons this summer.” Why should that have surprised me? Since he turned ten, I’ve looked at pictures of aircraft plastered on every wall in his bedroom. Nevertheless, other sons fly—not mine!
My husband John tries to reassure me. “Flying is safer than driving a car,” he said. So now Johnny’s a junior driver. I thought he should wait a little longer to start learning this new skill. But his dad says, “Johnny’s ready. He needs to spread his wings.”
This morning, leaving the driveway with him in the driver’s seat, I’m confident he’ll be a careful driver—he had an excellent instructor in his father.
But again I lean over to instruct, “Johnny, have you fastened your seat belt? Watch out for those other drivers!”
As I look back over the past sixteen years since we brought Johnny into our home, I’m reminded of a time when my Heavenly Father nudged me to step out in faith and then to waited on Him.
After years of infertility, my husband and I made the choice to pursue adoption as a means of gaining a family.
There were many disappointments over several years, but at last we were successful. I was forty-six when we adopted Johnny as a newborn.
I knew next to nothing about being a mother, but I was willing and determined. I learned from daily experience with our little one. Johnny taught me how to feel like a parent for the first time. Now our family was complete—or so we thought.
I came to realize that God had His own timetable for my life when fifteen months after Johnny’s adoption, I learned that I was pregnant at age forty-eight. How will I cope with two babies at my age and will he be healthy? I couldn’t help but wonder after the initial unbelief and astonishment subsided.
My physician informed me that I was at high risk of giving birth to a child with a chromosome abnormality. But I knew we were meant to have this baby, too. I began to feel joy and wonder at the prospect. I declined to have an amniocentesis that might reveal any abnormalities.
I had an uneventful pregnancy and Joshua was born just twenty-two months after Johnny came to us. There has never been another time when I felt closer to God as my Father and sensed His presence as during our son Johnny’s first year and during my pregnancy with Joshua.
Today with God’s continual help, I’m meeting the challenges and triumphs of mothering. I find support and direction through reading God’s Word, Christian publications and programs and through my husband. Becoming a mom in my later years is a rewarding experience, and my faith in God has deepened as a result.
Little by little, I’m learning to “let go”—to entrust Johnny and Joshua to God’s care. As I look forward to Johnny’s graduation and the challenges he’ll face, I recall Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
When it comes time for Johnny to take those flight lessons—to literally spread his wings—I’ll be ready. Watching as a proud mother, I can imagine myself saying, “Be careful. Fasten into your seat. Wear your harness.” “Spread your wings!”
Pat Jeanne Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. She enjoys gardening, genealogy research and travel. Her work appeared in Guideposts, The Lookout, Bible Advocate, Faith & Family, GRIT Magazine, Splickety Magazine, Sasee Magazine, RUBY Magazine, Woman Alive and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She writes historical inspirational novels and represented by Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com