Precious Gift

by | Jun 3, 1999 | Love, Parenting, Prayer

It was so much easier when they were little. Cries in the night, or tears after a tumble seem like such easy things to respond to — now. I helped them learn to ride a bike, now they are driving cars. I helped them learn to read, now they are writing term papers. I took them to countless sports events and practices, made hundreds of pizzas. I’ve kissed them good-bye as they left for school hundreds of time. But now, my youngest is 16. My, how times have changed.

For a while, it wasn’t cool to take hugs from Mom. We’ve weathered that, and now I occasionally feel their long, strong arms reach around me. I treasure those moments. But now I have big worries. They aren’t doing drugs or smoking pot. They don’t drink or smoke. My main concern is sex, at this point.

Several weeks ago as I spoke with a young co-worker and a college student, I mentioned that my 21 year old daughter has taken a vow of chastity until she marries. They laughed at first, thinking she had pulled the wool over my eyes, until I continued. “She has a chance to have a honeymoon like not many others. She will be, for the first time, with her husband-to-be, a gift to him, and only him. She will not be hindered by thoughts of how it was before, she will be fresh and pure, just for him, and hopefully him for her.” The younger girl responded with all honesty, “Wow, I wish I could be a virgin again.”

My son, now has a girlfriend for the first time. She has been “gone” on him for a couple years, but he adamantly denied that he liked her. Now things have changed. They think they are “in love”. I know they don’t have the faintest idea what ‘real love’ even is.

Real love isn’t just passionate lovemaking, that’s only a small part. Real love is my grandfather taking care of my grandmother at home until she had to be placed in a nursing home. He cared for her when she didn’t know him, and until his own health was in question.

Real love is saying “I’ll get up with the baby this time, honey, you get some rest.”

Real love is saving the last piece of cake for your lover.

Real love is working two jobs so your partner can finish college.

Real love is making the coffee in the morning.

Real love is changing the toilet paper roll when it runs out.

Real love is fixing the taillight on ‘her’ car.

Real love is cleaning up after someone has been sick.

Real love is cooking his favorite meal, or cooking dinner for her after a long day.

Real love happens when you don’t expect anything in return.

I care so much about these two young people, at the very beginning of the rest of their lives. Both of their families have been divorced, but maybe they can be different. And last night I told them. I told them both how much I love them. I told them that on their honeymoon, no matter who their partner is, that that night will be a gift to the person they love. The most precious gift you can give someone, (especially in these days) their purity. I told them that the more physically involved they become is like seeing how close you can drive to the edge of a cliff.

Maybe they can focus on being friends. Getting to know themselves and not just their feelings for each other. I probably did not tell them in the most eloquent of words, but one thing they will never wonder about is if I love them.

Maybe they will still be in love 75 years from now. Maybe I will dance at their wedding. Maybe they won’t have a child before a wedding. I will be praying for them –‘cuz I’m his mom!

Sheryl Simons mailto:s_simons@hotmail.com

Sheryl works part-time at a domestic violence shelter in Michigan and is a weekly columnist of “The Simple Life” in several area newspapers. She loves gardening, homemaking, and sunsets. Sheryl and her husband Richard attend antique car shows together. Pizza night and putt-putt golf is a favorite family activity when the kids are around. Her life’s ministry is to heal families before they break apart. She is recent chairman of the local Christian Women’s Club and loves speaking to women’s groups and writing. She is working on a book about domestic violence.

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