Good-bye, Mrs. Snail
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
Our now-grown daughter, Danae, loved every aspect of childhood and was reluctant to leave it. As a small child, she would place her dolls on a shelf and role-play with her teddy bears, stuffed rabbits, and kittens. Each one had a special name and would take its turn sleeping with her.
I earned my own special name during that time. I had decided to give Danae and her friends a tea party. We set out the good china, cookies, and napkins. Then Danae helped me create pretend names for all her friends. We had Mrs. Perry, Mrs. White, and Mrs. Green, and I was Mrs. Snail (I didn’t ask any questions!). The names stuck, and every time we put on a tea party after that morning, I was Mrs. Snail.
I thoroughly enjoyed being “Mom” in those days and wished they could have gone on forever. And I think Danae felt the same way. Her stuffed animals and old phonograph records and other toys were cherished possessions throughout her grade school years.
But kids do grow up. When Danae turned thirteen, her interests began to change. The stuffed animals went untouched in their various “homes,” and the familiar records began collecting dust. About a year later, Danae went through her toys and possessions, stacking them neatly and leaving them in front of Ryan’s bedroom door. I discovered them there with a note that brought tears to my eyes. It read:
These are yours now.
Take good care of them like I have.
That brief message made me realize that Danae had left childhood behind. She was now a young woman entering an exciting new phase of learning and maturing. And as she changed, I needed to change my approach to her as a parent.
By God’s holy wisdom, transitions are part of His plan for each of us. Nothing remains the same. The Lord presents us with new challenges and opportunities in every stage of this life. That’s not a bad thing! When we acknowledge that God is in control of our lives and our families, it becomes easier for us to embrace change. After all, the Author of change has blessed us by establishing the greatest transition of all: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
-Shirley M Dobson
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.