I am daily so very aware that my boy won't stop growing up on me.
But oh, the man he is growing into.
It's a trade off.
My heart comes near to burstin' when I think of the true gift that he is... this boy child that I did not ask or plan for but that God gifted me with.... I thought I was meant to be the mother of girls. God showed me that I was meant to be the mother of this here boy.
This boy of mine that loves Legos and has never lost his toddler obsession with trains. He loves little trinkets and things that he long ago nicknamed possibles and stores in various boxes in his room. He loves old cars, bow ties and neck ties and has quite the collection of what he has dubbed car caps (aka flat caps). Not to mention his Stormy Kromer, which is his go-to winter hat. This almost nine year old boy with an extensive vocabulary but a reluctance for reading. The Oreo purist.
Saturday morning He got up early and snuggled in bed between Mr. Steady and me... I couldn't help but see how much farther down the bed his legs go now. I snuggled next to him and smiled at Mr. Steady as he reached over the boy to pat me. I lay there remembering way back when he was thirteen to about eighteen months and refused to sleep in his own bed. The baby that went to bed like clockwork every night and slept through the night, blessing his poor ol' mama became a bedtime tyrant. He absolutely had to fall asleep with us and be hard, fast asleep before I could pick him up and deposit him into his own little bed. I remember those tired, tired nights and how many times, many, many times, the snuggling part didn't register to the depths of me because I oh so wanted that boy in his own bed so I could get some real sleep.
I knew those days were precious but in the midst of the sleep deprivation it was difficult to hold onto the precious portion of it all.
Now, I am very aware these days of snuggles and shorter stature and extra mama kisses are numbered.
I will look for and hold on to these precious portions.
Yesterday he opened the car door for me when we arrived at church in the morning. He gave me his hand and we walked, hand in hand to the doors of the church. It was a short walk but long enough for my heart to stick thick in my throat and me to be made yet again aware of how fleeting these days are.
I pray the boy will always think to open the door for his mama but there will come a day when he doesn't walk swinging hands with me across a parking lot.
He still loves to race right up to me and give me big hugs, but these days I must brace myself as he just about tackles me with a strength he is yet unaware of.
I notice the dress pants he had to cuff to wear just three short months ago hang just above the top of his dress shoes now.
His cow licks and freckles-- they're still there.
He was given his first knife this Christmas with explicate instructions from his Daddy to only use it when the two of them are together.
I kept shutting my eyes as I watched my man teach my boy how to start whittling. Mr. Steady reminded me that he was young when we started and he's managed to keep all of his fingers... and yet, I squeeze my eyes shut a few times as I watch them. I avert my eyes and instead look at the growing pile of shavings on the floor. I smell the cedar as I hear him find a steady whittling rhythm. They begin to chat like men as Mr. Steady keeps instructing and my mama heart constricts a bit more as I once again glimpse the man inside my boy.
I pray mightily and furiously with an urgent passion for the man this boy will someday be.
Because someday is daily creeping closer and closer.
My grateful heart.... #1942-1975
This gift... this boy
The way he shows and gives love
His [mostly] upbeat attitude
That cowlick at his crown and slightly to the left
His extensive collection of possibles
And that collection of car caps and how he goes about selecting which one to wear
How he looks after his little cousin Ree and loves on her all big brother like
His prayers to be a godly man
How he trails after his Daddy
Doing what they call "man work"
His all out love of the pure plain Oreo
How he wears cologne on Sundays for this mama- "just like Daddy"
Him asking for man soap for Christmas- again to be just like daddy
and hopping on my lap saying, "Smell me!"
His smell... his distinctive boy smell- a bit of sweat, soap, plastic Legos & wood chips
His hand holding mine, swinging back and forth, back and forth
Him whittling and man talking
His jokes.... oh his jokes!
How he looks so dapper in a tie and then balances it out with his soon untucked shirt tails
His dead eye aim with a sling shot.... or a homemade bow and arrow
How he likes his eggs... just like mama
The overwhelming joy of homeschooling him each and every day
That day he asked Jesus "into his whole heart" when he was five
His statement at age six of "I've decided I'll be baptized when I'm nine."
And how he hasn't forgotten it. This is his year. His year to be nine.
This very true, recent statement, "Sometimes It's really hard to follow after God. Is that what you mean when you pray for me to follow hard after Him?"
His insight and how it rocks me, challenges me and grows me
For bigger pants that need to be cuffed... him looking smaller just a little while longer