To Build a House, To Build a Kid

The ground next door has finally been broken!

It has been the last lot in our neighborhood and my six year old son, Luke, has been beside himself waiting for the last house to go up!

Today, a bunch of workers showed up to set forms for the foundation. It took them all day.

But by standing on our back deck we can begin to see the size and shape of the house. Luke is already comparing their house to ours and commenting on how small their back yard will be. Already, he knows, the foundation will determine the house.

As soon as the workers were gone, we went exploring! I explained how as early as tomorrow, perhaps, wet concrete will be poured between these molds and become the foundation of the house.

I held him up to look down between them and explained what the re-bar was that later would be invisible, but would give strength to these walls – much of which would be under the dirt.

As he walked and climbed around under my nervous but watchful eye, I couldn’t help but think that this was exactly what I was in the process of doing with my own son.

I am setting the forms for the foundation for his entire life.

Much of my work, also, will never be seen. Even now, it is determining the width and breath of his spiritual life. While much of the “wet cement” of his life has yet to be poured by the experiences of life that lie before him, I am setting up the molds, the framework for him – his world view – the mental guidelines and boundaries into which his experiences will pour and shape him and that will guide how he holds up and whether he stands strong in the storms that will surely come. His inner “re-bar,” later unseen, is being set now by our talks as we walk along the road and as we lay down at night to discuss the events of the day and the principles of life a father passes on to his son that will later determine his inner strength. Everything else in his life is going to build upon the foundation for which I now am laying out the framework. It is humbling. Almost scary.

It just got me thinking, I need to take this job seriously.

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