sheparding a son

i heard a sermon the other day about sheep. the pastor is baptist, but i like him. (note: sarcasm having married a man who attended a baptist college, along with my other favorite people). anyway, as i was saying, he was talking about sheep. sheep aren't "dumb like cows" he said, which can be pushed in any direction by a few dogs and maybe a cowboy or two. no, sheep are smart. they resist pushing. they need to be led.

insert shepard.

it is the shepard's job to lead the herd. the sheep learn to trust their shepard intimately. if he/she leads them up a mountain, they follow. through a rushing stream, they are right behind. they need this steady-handed direction. and it is only through gentle, loving guidance that the shepard has any luck with the sheep. any sense that they are being pushed and they run around in a frenzy. which made me think of my current toddler situation.

it's a battle of wills at times. to eat. to pee. to sleep. to poop. to stop. to go. to listen. . .

then i realized that the frenzy is my own creation. in my best efforts as a cowgirl, i just cannot seem to corral my little cow. but that's the problem. i need to see him as a sheep. and i his shepard. abandoning the idea of control and pushing may take me my son's entire lifetime. and i wonder will i be able to lead him through this life as his loyal shepard?