Tonight, sitting around a table of friends, laughing and sharing in birthday celebration, I couldn't help but reflect on the stark contrast of the moments before I left my house.
My son, just on the cusp of middle school, is starting to see some things in people that his tender heart just can't understand. It seems like for most kids the ideas and activities of social manipulation come all too easy, but not my boy.
I remember his struggle to understand how someone could say they weren't friends anymore and not mean it. He believed that at that moment the relationship would be severed.
It seems that he is once again learning the nuances in speech and action of relationship, and while it hurts my heart to see him navigate these waters, and get hurt along the way, I grow increasingly impressed at the young man he is.
I see a boy who would give so much to people around him, who doesn't choose friends based on "coolness" or age or toys...just people he enjoys spending time with, be they older or younger. I see a boy who longs for responsibility and hungers to care for others. A boy who would exhaust himself jumping up and down to bring a giggle to a small baby. Who wonders how he can help a home for children recently homeless, asking if he can give them his beloved stuffed animal.
I remember him anxious to read stories to his younger brother, the one who likes to just lay on him because he's a cozy big brother.
I am ever grateful that God blessed me with the kids he did. I wouldn't trade them for the world. Even on days where I long for just a little more time to myself, and maybe an uninterrupted potty break, I am blessed that it is these three knocking on the door.