A New Birth Certificate

In the cool of these July evenings, it has been surprisingly delightful to sit on the back steps and “supervise” the chaos in the postage-stamp backyard (how did it ever get that description, I wonder? Merriam-Webster online says that phrase was first used in 1938 to describe small sizes – I think mostly yards! “You are quite welcome” for that bit of trivial).  Mr. Ornery kicks a soccer ball repetitively and with enough inaccuracy that I wonder which pane of glass he’ll break next. The Little Guy plows his tricycle passed plastic dump trucks, over swim flippers and across my toes. My mom arrives with Mr. Trouble and the two older boys after picking them up from summer day camp.

Super Tall Guy thrusts a laminated 8 x 10 piece of paper onto my lap and exclaims, “There…..now I’m going to Heaven for sure.” I look down at his “New Birth Certificate” and smile. This is his third birth certificate – an original one at birth, a new one when I adopted him and now this.

new birth

So wonderful….and yet….and yet my heart pauses just a sec. What is this I’m feeling?  Somehow I am sad. For a minute, I feel cheated out of a “moment” with my son – the moment when he commits his life to God.  Oh yes, I am happy. Oh yes, I know that this is what I want for him. But somewhere in that really weird Mommy heart, I guess I wanted to be there.

Of course, this oddness is soon followed by a question of does he really know what he just did? Does this really mean he has made the commitment….or was it something that “everyone” was doing at camp and he joined in? Has he been thinking about it for awhile and then definitely decided? Or does he just want to “secure” his way to Heaven in a very 8 year old boy way? Because he’s pretty sure he doesn’t like going to church and doesn’t care to attend a Christian school anymore :).

Does it matter what I really think?  For the truth is – God knows. To me, though, it’s another one of those moments as a parent where you have to relinquish that desire to “know” and to have “control” over the child’s life. It’s that time where I have to say, God, you know what’s in his heart. You created him and you know him deeper and better than I. And sometimes that’s hard for me – to think that someone knows my boy more than I do.

So, I rejoice.
I rejoice and I pray for Super Tall Guy
and I thank God for him
and for bringing him into my life
and for giving me the chance to love him and parent him despite all my flaws and imperfections
and for giving him new birth.


And I think I now need a “New Parenting Stage Certificate”

mom cert

I have so many parenting certificates to earn – but this, this is one of the Prize ones!!




4 thoughts on “A New Birth Certificate

  1. Oh, Lynne, I know exactly how you feel, wanting to “be there” for him when he made the decision, to know just what it means to him. Who grows up the most in life, the child or the parent? Think it’s a toss-up. (And yes, there’s a reason your lawn is called a postage stamp lawn – because it is one!)

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