Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
TITLE: Will, the Phone and a Bridge
By Sarah Heywood
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Last Saturday the phone rang, and surprisingly, it was for me. Normally, during these summer days, the calls seem to be usually for my sons, generally playmates, requesting the pleasure of their company. My husband had answered the phone and handed it to me, saying, “It’s Will (our oldest son). He wants to talk to you.” I have been a parent long enough to know that that is code for “wants a favor”! But, martyr that I am, I took the phone anyway. To my surprise, it wasn’t Will on the other end. Oh, he assured me that he most certainly was Will, but my Will is thirteen years old and still a boy who likes to wrestle with his brothers on the trampoline, wearing a cardboard wrestling belt. He’s a boy who thinks it is hilarious when he can snort kool-aid out his nose and he never met a body function joke he didn’t repeat, much to the delight of his younger brothers. Will was anticipating attending church camp, this time at the junior high level, and a few weeks earlier I had coyly mentioned to him that there would be girls at this camp, to which he gave me a blank stare - apparently he doesn’t know girls exist yet, at least not in that capacity. That’s my Will! But when I picked up the phone, there was a young man, with a kind of deep voice on the other end! He said he was Will, but it wasn’t until he got to the “Mom, can I…?” part of what he wanted to say that I actually believed him.
About an hour later, he was home, along with his best friend, Jake. That was the favor he wanted. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to spend seven entire days together at camp - he and Jake needed to spend one more day and night together! I had noticed a few months ago that Jake had really shot up in height recently. But since I was still having to hem Will’s church pants, I was pretty sure he wasn’t growing much. But to my surprise, when the two of them walked in the door together, they were only a couple of inches apart now in height. How did I not notice this before? I surreptitiously sidled over to Will - sure enough, he’s almost as tall as me now! I didn’t realize! And how did my son’s deepening voice escape my attention?
I thought I was the mother of four young boys. But I’m not. I’m the mother of three young boys and one almost-man. It’s hard to believe that in five short years Will will be marching down the aisle in a graduation gown. Within a decade he could be married and a father himself. We have a lot of ground to cover between now and then and some teaching I want to get in (like how girls are generally not impressed by how well one can make noises in their armpit with their hand!). But during the next five years he will be crossing the bridge from boyhood to manhood. When I think of all the dangers on that bridge, I just want to grab Will’s hand like I did when he was little and we were in parking lots, and lead the way, dragging him beside me, ensuring his safety. I think this may be the hardest thing I ever do, leading him to the bridge, maybe walking with him partway, but then releasing him as he crosses to the side of manhood. It’s exciting to me, to know that soon I’ll see the man he will become, but scary at the same time.
But I need to learn to release him into our Father’s care. For some reason, I tend to think I can do a better job caring and protecting my children than He can! I had better learn to do this now because it won’t be but a few years and I’ll get another telephone call, this time from son #2, and I’ll wonder how his voice got to be so deep, too!
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