When I reflect back on this season of your life, the thing that will stand out most is your ability to switch between sweet-as-sugar and mean-as-heck. You possess the ability to bless and curse with that little mouth of yours, and it all hinges on whether or not you're getting your way. Oh, the doozies we've heard just this week:
"You the bestest, most wonderest Mama ever!"
"This is the worstest day ever, and it's all because of you!"
"God not real. Jesus no love me."
"God, you the besest God ever in the whole world, Jesus, ever."
"You the worstest Mama in the whole world, ever, Mama."
"No, not tomorrow. Tomorrow I go to college and get real life."
Needless to say, it's been a challenging month. It's so hard to not get pulled down by the harshness of your words, yet so easy to fall in love with the sweetness that comes out in your kinder moments. We continue to pray that you will be able to express anger without hurtful words, to share your discontent without disrespect. To hear your repentant little prayer tonight before bed was like a salve to my weary soul after a day spent disciplining over and over.
Speaking of words, you've added a few songs to your repertoire in the last few months. You seem to enjoy singing the same lyrics over and over, reveling in the mastery of complicated words, strung together. On any given day, we can hear you joyfully belting out Jingle Bells, Popeye the Sailor Man, Oompa Loompa, or Spiderman. And each of these songs has the uncanny ability to cement itself firmly in one's brain, to be played on repeat moment after quiet moment throughout the day. So thankful for your mastery, but ready for some new choices.
We've been talking more and more about the upcoming arrival of your little brother, all in hopes of preparing you for what will be a big transition. You've expressed excitement, a desire to help out, and all sorts of plans for what you can teach your brother: how to ride the balance bike, how to build with legos, how to dress up like a cowboy/fireman/construction worker. You love to kiss my belly and talk to the baby.
Most days lately we lie down for nap time together. I'm trying to eke out as much cuddle time as I can with you before the baby arrives. That, and you are having a harder and harder time falling asleep during the day. I fear you're trying to give up your naps, right at a time when I need them the most! Yet you're always up for a snuggle, and you love to be as close as possible to me. Early in the mornings, you approach my side of the bed, wait patiently and quietly for me to invite you up, and then tuck in tight next to my body, your head right beside mine on the pillow, grabbing my arms to wrap them around your body or put my hand beneath your cheek. Other times you snuggle up and use my belly as a pillow, or tuck your small curled up frame in the nook behind my knees. I treasure these moments, the quiet times where your closeness reveals the intimacy and comfort you desire most. They store up in my heart, preparing me for the day ahead.
My second-born, my first boy, how I love you! How I desire for you to be at peace, to work through whatever battles you are currently facing that cause such turmoil and anger in your little body. Beneath those harsh and hurtful words is a sweet and snuggly little guy, gentle and sensitive, who is trying desperately to figure out life and change and emotion. I pray that I can gently yet firmly establish the boundaries that help keep you safe and guide you into the next phase of boyhood. I pray that your spirit would be receptive to my love and discipline. I pray that God would show me the best way to be your Mama.