My firstborn at his best

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7

I take a moment to honor my son, for it is owed him.

I attended a conference for work and brought my firstborn as an investment in our relationship and to re-position me as a capable, successful woman, not just a mom that makes him dinner. It was a great trip to Atlanta filled with work, play, food, freedom, and some surprises. My biggest surprise was discovering that my tweenage son was a secret weapon.

I so loved getting to hear you speak two weeks ago at the conference. My son was joining me as a sidekick for my vendor booth when you called him up as the suspected Gen Z in our group.  Your interaction with him provided entrée for everyone in attendance to engage him in conversation, compliment his confidence and (I suspect you set the standard for them too) treat him as a peer instead of a child.  Peter was truly living his best life!  He loved the affirmation and acknowledgment.  I’m sure it was a simple and inconsequential gesture to you.  But you were in a position of great honor as the speaker and he felt every bit of honor you attributed to him by bringing him up front with you.  You gave him a gift when you did that, and I was also a recipient of that gift.  He spent a few days with all the freedoms of being an adult, and the weight of acting like a man was heavy but so satisfying for his little person.  The gift for me was seeing my boy stand up into a young man I don’t regularly see as his mom.  The fruit of it carried on for days after your presentation.  Although he admitted on our way home, it was hard work being grown and he was happy to be a kid when we left the hotel.

I know Peter will tuck this conference away as a childhood memory for he and I as a mother & son, but also as a treasure of being able to glory in the privilege of being addressed as a man, a fully complete individual, and not as a little boy to be minimized or overlooked as adults can often be in the habit of doing.

The speaker replied. We shared both letters with Peter in an inaugural visit to Waffle House (which is entirely another post of its own).

It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to meet You and Peter!  I believe Peter showed signs of maturity not often seen in a young man his age.  He was thoughtful and well spoken, poised and professional.  I’ve actually shared Peter’s example with several Boards recently who seemed to want to lament the state of today’s Youth.  To a person, they seemed surprised about (and excited by) the promise for the future he demonstrated so aptly.

Hearing both letters while waiting on steak & eggs, Peter cried. The honor and affirmation caught him unawares. It lay heavy on him like a thick wool blanket. And it felt good. “Thanks, mom,” he said as he wiped away tears.

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