I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
My eighteen-year-old son, Logan, has a favorite T-shirt. It’s fire engine red with a huge Sesame Street Elmo face. The shirt isn’t flattering. Or trendy. Elmo’s eyes, nearly the size of dinner plates, are cracked from frequent washings. But Logan loves the shirt. It was a gift from his little brother.
One afternoon, Logan and I stood in his bedroom and packed his clothing into grey, plastic totes. He was going to college. There were two stacks of T-shirts on his bed. The stay-at-home pile. And the go-to-school pile. I’d placed Elmo on the stay-home pile. His big eyes peeped up at us.
“You sure I shouldn’t take the Elmo shirt, Mom?” Logan asked.
“I’m sure,” I said over my shoulder as I plucked socks from his bureau drawer. “It’s time to spruce your wardrobe. You have nicer things to wear.” I wanted Logan to fit in. To be like everyone else. But then I stood to look at my son. My nearly-grown guy looked very young. And uncertain. “Pack the shirt,” I said.
A week later, my husband and I sat on a bench outside Logan’s dorm. It was Parent Orientation Weekend. We were waiting for Logan to return from breakfast following his first night on campus. After a moment, my cell phone rang. “I’m on the way,” Logan said. “Be there in a minute.”
I peered up the block. Through a mass of kids moving down the sidewalk, I saw the eyes. Huge, round Elmo eyes. Peeking out from the crowd. Making their way toward us.
I laughed out loud. Day one. Elmo shirt unveiled. That was just like my son. He knows what he likes and it’s okay if it’s different from everyone else.
“Looks like our boy’s on the way,” Lonny said.
“Yes,” I said. I watched Elmo and Logan come closer. I couldn’t keep from smiling. “I think he is.”
Thanks, Father, for hand-crafting our children. Help each of our sons to be comfortable with who you made him to be.