Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Parables and Sons

This morning, the first thought that came to my mind was the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The prodigal asked for his inheritance and took off on what seems to be a nagging desire in most young men --- to go out and see the world. 

I was comforted in the fact that even though this son lived lavishly until he exhausted all his money and ended up feeding pigs to make his way, his heart turned back to his father and his home, and he returned most likely a changed man. He realized life was not so bad under his dad's roof. 

I have always been curious why Jesus left out the mother in this story. Perhaps it was a cultural thing. I do not know. What I do know is that is aches a mother's heart when a child says they are leaving home. Six years ago, when my oldest was nineteen, he came home from work and announced he was leaving with a coworker for Phoenix, Arizona, that they would drive out from Maryland and return in a week. I hemmed and hawed. Told him no he wasn't going anywhere. He had college starting in a week. Was he crazy? And he was going with a girl. They were only friends, but still!

He reminded me he was over eighteen, and out the door he went. I was a wreak. The entire week, he never called. But the girl's mother did, and they were fine. He saw the Grand Canyon, and returned home a day early. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he bounced in all tan, dirty, and sweaty, shouting, "Mom, I'm back. See I'm okay." I hugged him, cried at bit, and then smacked him on the shoulder saying, 'Don't do that again.'

My youngest (22) came to us a few weeks ago announcing that his metal band will be going on tour for three months, as far west as Chicago, as far north as Portland, and as far south as Orlando. They are heading out in a conversion van, fully stocked, and will pull a trailer with all their equipment. 

We've been told they plan to wash up in rest stops and gas stations. That they will sleep in the van because they cannot afford motels, and will eat at cheap restaurants, buy food from grocery stores, and have the best time of their lives playing music from town to town. It's his dream, and he is a talented guitarist.

It's hard to let go, to not worry. I don't know what I'd do without writing. It gets my mind off things, and gives me a respite from worry. I sometimes wonder if we reap what we sowed in our youths. I caused my parents a great deal of worry. Once my hubby and I, in our twenties, hitched hiked from Kansas to New Mexico, and I never told them about it. Not until several years later when we were back in Maryland. Even then, they were horrified.


Jessica said...

LOL You hitchhiked??? OH my! Heeheee! I'm not sure I'd have the backbone to do that. LOL But what an absolutely, amazing adventure you must've had!
As for your boys, I think it's awesome that you've raised them to be independent, self-sufficient and to be men who follow their hearts/dreams. That's wonderful and I'm sure you're proud of them. :-)

Rita Gerlach said...

Thanks, Jessica. I needed to read your comment.

Ah, yes. Hitching. It was the early 80s...no kids. We even jumped a fence and laid out our sleeping bags and sleep there in the fields of Oklahoma. Then in the morning, longhorn Texas steer came racing down the hill after us and we just made it over the fence.

Jan Cline said...

As the mother of a prodigal son much like the one in the bible story, I know the heartache that comes with wondering if your child will ever make better choices, and decide to be part of the family again. I too have often wondered why the mother wasn't mentioned. I suspect she was probably in her room on her face before God, or in the kitchen just trying to stay busy and not worry!

Annette said...

Yikes, I'll be praying for your son on the adventure and dream of his.