Flap, flap, flap went the little feet, chugging away toward the back of Target. I looked to my left and saw a smiling pre-schooler running alongside my cart. I looked around for his mother but there was no one in sight. I wasn't overly alarmed because the store was empty and I am, after all, the mother of three boys. Aisles in grocery stores make for great sprinting sessions! But, being a mom, I did keep an eye on this tyke and stayed alongside him as we made our way to the back.
"Where are you going?" Without missing a beat he replied, joyously I might add, "I'm running away from my mommy!" My heart cracked a bit at this and believe it or not, my eyes filled with tears. I told him to stay with his mommy for a bit longer and to turn around and run back. He did and I watched him reunite with a young woman. A simple interchange but it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.
The heart of my sadness is that I have three boys who are running just as fast as they can to be independent and to head out on their own. They are eager and determined and hardly ever look back, rushing toward the future with smiles on their faces. I'm the one left in the background thinking, "Stay with me just a little while longer. You don't have to leave so soon! I need more time with you...just a little more time."
They used to be toddlers unwilling to hold my hand and eager to run the endless tiles of the grocery store. Now they're running the endless steps toward whatever God has in store for them and I must let go and let God take care of them. He'll walk beside them and watch over them. I imagine Him looking back at me and telling me they're in the BEST hands.