Bumper Pads

Post date: May 29, 2013 3:02:55 PM

I think I still want bumper pads,” she confided, “but I am embarrassed to ask for them.” This was part of our conversation this morning. You see, Natalie is going bowling as part of a summer camp field trip. I told her that I too would like to have bumper pads when I bowled, but I was afraid of getting teased by her father, or worse, of breaking the bumper pads by throwing the ball into them too hard. She said that she couldn’t throw very hard, but she was afraid of getting teased, so she wouldn’t ask for them. And then we talked about how, now that she is older and has glasses too, she is stronger, can see the pins better, and should be able to be more accurate. She triumphantly declared, having come to a resolution in her mind, that she doesn’t “need the bumpers, anyway.”

And so goes life.

We grow. We leave behind the security blankets, the pacifiers, the bumper pads, the symbols of our youth, as we grow. Natalie doesn’t necessarily want to leave all these symbols behind, but she’s starting to feel that it’s what is expected of an almost-fourth-grader. When you are in almost-fourth-grade you are expected to leave behind the things that comforted you as a child. And when you are the tallest almost-fourth-grader in your class and people think you are older than you actually are, you begin to play the part.

An inner voice resolves to have courage. And the strength is all your own.

Looking back on the last post about my own security blanket (Natalie’s inactive transplant listing), I suppose that I have had an epiphany. Natalie is now no longer listed. And that’s OK. I should be more excited, really I should. But it was our “back-up plan.” Our “if things go really bad with this portal vein, at least we have a back-up” plan. Giving this fully to God is terrifying; but also freeing.

How is that possible? I never realized what a burden that “security blanket” was. By letting go, my own inner voice resolves to trust in Him and to rely on the strength that He has given to me.

Never did I think, 8 years ago during that summer of transplant rejection and lymphoma, that we would be having this conversation. And for that I am looking toward the heavens, grateful.

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