Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Psalm 127: 3-5
A few months ago, my daughter moaned about missing the last of Victoria’s childhood and the last of Amari’s little boy years. They were nine and four when they came to live with us. At eleven, Victoria is moving into adolescence, but she’s at that point where she’s very grown up one minute, and the next, she reverts to a little girl. Amari is six and in the first grade. He’s lost his baby cheeks and, although he’s still a little boy, he’s begun to focus on boy interests like football and basketball. Sometimes, he throws his chest out, pulls his shoulders back, and struts. It’s cute and hilarious, but I don’t tell him.
It’s sad that she’s missing this. There’s so much about them she doesn’t know and can’t share. As the Psalmist says, children bless and reward their parents. My daughter’s quiver stands empty due to her choices, and the rewards and joys fall to me and my husband.
For example, Victoria won the Science Fair at her school. First place!!!! Next week, she competes on a regional level. I grew up in an academic family. My father spent a large part of his career as the Dean of the College of Sciences at Clemson University. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology. Winning the Science Fair rates high on our “busting our buttons with pride” scale. Her mom misses out on celebrating this achievement. She doesn’t get to be here preparing Victoria for her presentation and calming her nerves.
Amari barely spoke when he came to us. Now, he talks non-stop. He loves God, he asks amazing, complicated questions, and talks to everyone. Just yesterday, I took him to a follow-up visit with the Allergist. Brave man that he is, this doctor checks Amari’s ears, throat, and nose, then he lets Amari use the otoscope to do the same on him. Amari loves it! All isn’t joy for him, though. Recently, he ran into some trouble with some boys, a precursor to bullying in the first grade! Mom wasn’t here to recognize something was wrong, comfort him, and deal with the problem. I took care of it. I’m glad to say his teacher responded immediately to the issue, too.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6
It breaks my heart that my daughter continues to miss these experiences due to her poor choices. For us, we have the crowns mentioned in Proverbs living in our house. We’re tired. It’s hard work, but I can’t imagine life without them here. We are the parents in their lives, not their mom. Instead of pride about her true parents, Victoria avoids questions from classmates. They’re curious. Most of them know me, so if they ask why she’s with me, I tell them Mom can’t take care of them right now. That’s it. Nothing more needs to be said.
Hold your children close. Hold your grandchildren closer. When life becomes hard, remember they are your crown, blessing, heritage, and reward.