Monday, April 2, 2012

on choosing a cave

After my son visited a restroom solo last week and told me later:

Mom, I really wanted to buy some of those candies they had for sale in there. . . but I thought you wouldn't let me so I didn't. . .

. . .I told my husband that I would be heading to the mountains to look for a suitable cave to raise our babies in.

At one time in my life, I thought parents who chose the cave log cabin extreme sheltering version of parenting were making life hard for themselves and their children.

I don't believe that anymore.

It's easy to choose the cave. 

That's my natural impulse.  Shelter, hide, cover those little eyeballs, don't explain, let's not talk about it.

Easy is making my chicks stay with me at all times;  hard is letting them go tiny bit by tiny bit and then talking and disciplining and guiding through the mistakes that they inevitably make.

Easy is never leaving my house;  hard is taking them out into the cruel cruel outer spheres where I want to hide their eyes from the heartbreak of the world.

Easy is glossing over the tough stuff;  hard is knowing how much to explain to little minds who will quickly form worldviews from the lenses I choose to give them.

You've heard them; the endless views on greenhouse vs. let them go and sheltering vs. pushing out.  I don't have this figured out and I'm stumbling along and seeking the word of God for answers to my questions as I go.

So far all I know is that every choice is hard.

I wanna protect them from everything!

And then I have a yelling match (well, actually I just yell) with their daddy about where to spend Easter. 

Yeah, protection and shelter from sin coming right up here in our happy little home.

We talk this all out, me and my boy and my girl, serious little faces looking at me while I tell them that I was wrong to yell at Daddy and that we still love each other;  that sometimes moms and dads way disagree and there isn't a naptime anymore when we can work this out and sometimes they might hear us disagree. 

Easy:  gloss over and pretend it didn't happen.  Hard:  talk it out and confess my sin and hear them ask tough questions about the neighbor boy's mom and dad who don't live together anymore. I tell them what their daddy and I vowed to do and that we chose marriage and understood that to be a lifelong commitment.

The farther I go the more I think that choosing the cave doesn't prepare them for life.

Oh I need God's grace!

From today:

JD, following long discussion about laughing gas = nitrous:  So does that make you goofy for. . . your whole life?

Note written on white 8 x 11 copier paper, folded over into a card;  the front reads:

it's gonna be a blast to open it.

look inside for some fun

{and of course I open it}

I <3 U, I think you are a relly <-- (e) dodn't know)
good cook!
I cannot belive how good you are as a cook in the house.
Thanks for letting us go to the YMCA ymca YmCa ymca
waat a blast it is.
<3 JD

((P.S. It's true that your a good cook.)

Me:  Do you wanna tell me anything before bed, Jacob?
JD:  You know my soccer coach's girl?  We became friends, like, instantly.  Just by looking at each other.
Me: . . . . What is her name?
JD:  I have no idea.

Oh my Jacob Daniel!  Waat a blast he is!  ;)

 Phone Photo Dump :


  1. You've put into words SO well (once again) thoughts that I have about my kids and keeping their innocence but not overprotecting... I think about a deserted island (instead of cave) to raise our family on.

  2. Love your blog, Hayley! Great thoughts as always. I grew up in the cave, and it definitely did not prepare me for life.

  3. That's funny, my sister (Rachel) and I were just having a conversation about this. I pray I have the right balance someday. I don't have any children yet, but I know that this is something that will definitely be a struggle for me. I know I'm going to want to protect them from everything! So Thankful that I have the Lord on my side :) Thanks for the post!

    Hannah 'Chambers' Van Zyl

  4. He's growing up so fast, Hayley. Every picture I see of him I'm amazed by how grown-up he looks.
    Thanks for being real.
    It's so hard to be balanced.
    I'm thankful we're only given one day at a moment at a time...I get to choose to guide and teach, or ignore and gloss over...and then reap what I've sown.
    I've been meditating on Col. 3 recently...the "put offs and put ons." Struggling with staying in the "ons." I can wriggle out of them and be right back in the "offs" so quickly. But I know the root of my struggle lies in vs 16.
    Thankful for God's grace and wisdom...