We traveled to Los Angeles this weekend for an early Christmas with our son and daughter in law. It was a beautiful weekend with sun and palm trees, the warmer temperatures a welcome change from an arctic freeze. Our East coast cold can chill the bones and the soul.
From eating our fill of great Mexican food to sharing an early Christmas, we made the most of our short time.
As parents, we watch our kids exit our homes to create homes of their own with nostalgia and some tears. Memories of toddler kisses and bedtime stories will never completely fade. Instead they remain, packed into the boxes our minds create for these things. But there is incomparable joy in watching our children “become.” That is what we now get in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.
As I grow older and watch my children enter into adulthood, I ponder a recurring theme of foundations and generations. This circle of life depends on both to be successful. To function well as adults we need secure foundations; foundations of nutrition, of physical nurturing, of spiritual guidance. A healthy new generation will not grow without a solid foundation.
Moments of connection with adult children are both hopeful and nostalgic, seeing a new generation ‘become’on the foundations of the past.
When we are in the middle of building foundations, we make mistakes. There are times when we fail our kids and we fail ourselves; times when the foundations seem shaky, built on sand and not on rock. Still other times, by grace we get it right. We shake our heads in disbelief and amazement – it worked! The foundation is strong and secure, the next generation can build on what came before. But only a foolish parent takes full credit, refusing to see that this is all grace.
We travel back on a lonely Sunday night flight, the plane full of weary travelers, perhaps others like us who have traveled to see a new generation springing from an older foundation.
I look at the man by my side, and I am so grateful. We’ve navigated some rough waters together, some that threatened to drown us. But they didn’t. Instead we travel together, united in our prayers and love for this next generation.
And so it is, foundations and generations–as old as the human race, reminding me that our journeys matter.