I had this great moment of realization and reassurance awhile back.
My oldest was asked to babysit for a friend. Her boys are at just the right age for his first experiences babysitting for someone other than his siblings all on his own. I was impressed to see how enthusiastic he was in this adventure and her boys were happy to have a “boy babysitter”! The thing is that I recognize how rare of an opportunity this is. No matter how much of a natural instinct boys have for caring for children it is always going to be the girls that will get a call to babysit first. I get it…when Sam and Jake were still young enough that they needed a sitter and the girls were just little I didn’t feel quite comfortable having another young man in the house to make sure they got into their jammies, tucked them in and give them a snuggle if they needed it. Somehow that worked okay for a young woman to take care of those things with my boys but not the other way around. Having said that I have met a few guys over the last few years that I may have reconsidered for and my experience as a momma of older boys has given me some perspective on that as well.
Okay so in keeping with the idea that my kids can have the opportunity to share a little about their lives on my blog here is a story Sam wrote for his Language Arts class. The assignment was to re-write a classic Fairytale in a “broken” fashion…hence the assignment being titled “Fractured Fairytale”. I’m not 100% sure if Sam captured the point (he hasn’t gotten his grade back yet), but it’s definitely an interesting read. I asked him if I could share it here and he was happy to oblige. While I find the story a bit odd and somewhat disturbing, I can appreciate that this is not an area he’s particularly strong in and he gave it his best effort. So without further ado…enjoy!
The change that broke his heart Continue reading
Today I was reminded of how precious the four gifts I’ve been given truly are. I was reminded of so much more than just the joys they bring everyday but the eternal blessing they are to me and the amazing responsibility I have to cherish them. There are so many ways I could go with this post…but I’m going to try and remain on track.
Sam turned 9! Where did the years go…I have one more year to enjoy single digits and then we hit the big 1-0. Am I really old enough to have a child this age. Sometimes my body says, “yup, you’re definitely old enough”:) I know, I’m still a baby to some of you but when you’ve given birth four times there are parts that don’t work as well, don’t look the same, and just generally speaking the body starts to change. My mind says I’m still so young…I just graduated, I just got married, I just started this family! It could go on but the truth is I have a 9 year old!
When I see the beautiful boy that God has given me I’m astounded at the intricacy of our Creator’s mind. I see a little boy, who is becoming a young man…I see a smile, a frown, a tear, a smirk and I know that there are so many faucets of this person. Some I know all too well and others that seem to escape my notice. I hear him growling in frustration at his homework, I see him gently lift his baby sister into his lap after dinner and snuggle her, I discuss with him the benefit of owning a “slap-chop” and how if I call in the next twenty minutes I’ll also get a second one and a free grater and in all those moments I experience a myriad of emotions at how the baby I held such a short time ago has become such a beautiful person. He’s far from perfect, he gets angry, he yells, he stomps, he slams doors but when I reflect in quieter moments I know that isn’t what defines him. He’s human, just like me! Instead I see that he is a sensitive, loving, kind little boy who belongs to me! I am the one who has been blessed with his presence. He’s a gift to ME…a special treasure that should be valued and proudly displayed.
I hope that in the next 9 years I can hold on and let go, that I can guide him and befriend him, that I can love him and like him. Every year will bring a new challenge, a new realization of who he is but I know I can trust one thing…that the Creator of Heaven and Earth already has a purpose and knowledge of where he is leading this treasure of a child and what role I will play in that!
Happy Birthday Sam. You are a gift and my prayer is that you NEVER forget that.
For those of you with kids I can imagine that you’ve all made the effort to go out on a “date” with your child from time to time. Although the younger they are the less enjoyable it can tend to be since it usually turns out like most outings where you spend the entire time parenting rather than just being together but as I discovered last night, as my children grow the experience of “dating” them can be an amazing bonding experience never mind preparing them for relationships in their future and, more importantly, cementing the bond between parent and child for years to come.
Last night Sam and I agreed to go out to look for a Halloween costume for him and then continue on with a date night. I was a little tired but really wanting to accomplish this time together since it’s only a few more weeks before baby arrives. I suggested to Sam we head to Winner’s (since that’s where my mom got Lanae’s adorable ladybug outfit) and then we go to a place where James and I, and many of my girlfriends and I, spend very productive evenings, AFTERTHOUGHTS!!! He proceeded to inform me that he just wanted ice cream with smarties in it, ie, McDonald’s McFlurry. I was not about to spend the evening “dating” in McDonald’s so I tried to entice him with tales of huge pieces of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, hot chocolate with whipcream, etc. He didn’t really seem that excited but I think he sensed my lack of enthusiasm for McDonald’s (could be my outright refusal to take him there but I’m not sure…). Anyway, we got to Winner’s didn’t find what we wanted and headed to Afterthoughts. He kept asking how long until we get there, is that the place mom, etc. All the questions that kids normally ask but today I was determined not to lose my patience and just enjoy the fact that he wanted to be there with me and even held my hand as we went from place to place. When we got there we decided on sharing a HUGE piece of Cookies ‘n’ cream cake and each had a hot chocolate. We found a table and dug in. For those of you who know Afterthoughts you know how big the pieces are so we obviously didn’t finish it (much to James’ enjoyment, since he got the leftovers) but we had fun talking and being silly. There were moments of course that I had to be “mom”. When he tried to eat the cake without his fork I very firmly informed him you can’t do that on a date! I realized it wasn’t so horrible what he was trying to eat with his face in the cake but it was desperately embarrassing for me! In the big scheme of things is it really that big a deal and then I understood that part of this “dating” thing is teaching my sons how to act on a date and what ladies enjoy when they are out. Really what I’m accomplishing here is a service to my future daughter-in-law as I help my sons understand the need for chivalry, class, kindness, and all those things that a woman needs so desperately to feel special and unique to her spouse.
Of course the evening wouldn’t have been complete without a few moments of reminiscing on my part about how my son has grown from a tiny infant to a seven year old boy. He no longer has the tiny fingers and toes and little button nose, now he has long spindly arms and dimples on his face that appear whenever he smiles. I can’t say I miss him being a baby but I do realize that he’s growing up so fast and I really need to take every opportunity to enjoy who he is at each stage.
The evening ended pleasantly, with a stop at Walmart and the purchase of a Darth Vadar cloak, mask and light saber, and then off to bed where he fell asleep quite willingly with a smile on his face. All I can say is thank you Lord for blessing me with this child who so often has me pulling my hair out but every once in awhile there are beautiful moments which I will forever cherish and look back on with the knowledge that my son is “mine” only for a short time so I am going to choose to give him as much of myself now as I possibly can!