Our children grow up too quickly. It was only yesterday that I was changing the diaper on our first son Tucker. Actually, it was fourteen years ago. Now, I see him only when he is on the way to the refrigerator or when he needs to discuss the deeper things that matter in life; you know… girls. At the same time, our younger son Fletcher has kept up with his big brother in the growth department. Lets just say that Fletcher will never be confused for a jockey. This doesn’t mean that Fletch doesn’t enjoy horseback riding. Well, at least it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like his Daddy being the horse.
This used to be a great deal of fun for me. I would get home from a long day at work and Fletch would come in the room, climb up on the ottoman, turn me around, jump on my back, and then we’d be off to the races. As the years have passed though, the jockey has gotten too portly and the stallion needs to be put out to pasture. He jumped on my back the other night and I thought I was carrying a sack of wet cement! I don’t know where he found those rocks for his pockets, but at a dense 110 pounds, Fletch is a formidable rider for all but the heartiest Clydesdales.
Reflecting on this, I know that it won’t be too many years before Dad’s pony rides will come to a conclusion. I’ll be too old and Fletch will be too big. Some parents might feel excited about their kids moving on from such childlike games; but I say this with a twinge of sadness because I truly love his giggle as we ride through the frontier of our home.
These days, instead of galloping down our hallway as Fletcher’s trusty steed, I now have to stagger under his enormous weight. As I trot at my rider’s behest, I now feel muscles tear that I forgot that I owned. As I struggle to stay on my feet, I feel the desire to set Fletcher down. But just as I want to bring our game to an end, I remember Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
As I ponder this passage, I come to a new conclusion: Fletcher isn’t a burden, he’s my boy! With renewed resolve, I’d like to go for another gallop; but I need to get my hamstring checked first!