Harrison turned 16 this past Sunday. Hard to believe that he is that old. From time-to-time, like so many parents, I like to look back at old photos and see how much he has changed and how far he has come. Last week, in the final days before his birthday, I found myself thinking about those changes, especially over the last 6 -1/2 years since the accident.
I know this next statement may sound a little crazy but, hey, I'm just being honest. I wonder often what Sarah thinks about the way I'm raising the kids. I'm sure there were many times, during the three years I was a single dad, that she was up in heaven just moaning at some of the boneheaded things I did. Now, with Lisa's help, I watch Harrison grow into a young man and Abby develop into the young lady we had prayed for since the beginning. But I still catch myself second-guessing things I did and, occasionally, patting myself on the back because I handled something well.
Both of my kids were extremely close to their mother. I think the hardest prayer I prayed in the post-accident days (maybe the hardest I ever prayed for anything) was that God would help navigate my kids through their loss and make them into what Sarah and I had prayed for. I'd like to think we're close. I'd like to think that my stubbornness or busyness or hard-headed attitude or anger...that they haven't interfered with what God intended from the beginning with those two.
I guess any parent wonders. Wonders how certain choices may impact their kids' future--the divorce or the career change or the relocation or the loss of a loved one. I know Lisa and I have talked about that with all of our kids. We all try to imagine the "what-ifs" surrounding those life changing decisions. But there's really no use in giving in to the temptation to ask...we just can't go back again. In fact, it's much wiser to leave that concern in the hands of the only One who will ever really know anyway.