I got to help him turn a lemon of a day into a special glass of lemonade.
It's one of our best superpowers as parents I think. Or maybe, it's one of our dearest honors.
They're going to have hard days. Fact. And of course someday when they leave the nest, they're still going to have hard days... harder days. We can't stop the lemons from coming, but we can show up to love them... and we can teach them that there's a little lemonade in everything.
We can set the tone. We can offer calm and steady. We can wrap them in a hug and make sure they know that no matter what the day is serving, they are so fully loved. We can give quiet comfort and allow space to process. We can encourage them through, whispering or maybe shouting, "you've got this!" We can remind them that God's peace exists right within them, and is available always.
And when we get a chance, we can take them for an actual lemonade.
Or at least that's how today went.
He sat across from me at a little table outside the cafe. We sipped what he declared "the best lemonade ever." We talked about baseball and fantasy football. We counted bikers that rode by. We "awww'd" over a tiny chipmunk. We took our time. We held hands and I kissed his ball-capped head as we walked back to the car.
And someday... maybe he won’t even remember the lemons that seemed so very big to him today. But I pray he always remembers the lemonade.
I know I will.