The other day there was a magical moment when the boys were dressed and my bed was made (all at once!!) and I found them looking all cute and wrestling and playing with huge smiles on the bed so I grabbed some quick photos to remember it. Because the kind of magic when your house actually appears to be clean at the same time your children are getting along beautifully doesn’t happen all the time.
There are a few Jamesisms I need to document. 1. One morning James woke up and said he had had the coolest dream the night before. He was telling me all about how some robot got hurt and the doctor needed to fix him. I asked him what the doctor did and he said something like, “She gave him an ice pack and a bandaid.” Anyway, It doesn’t seem very big but I was just so proud that in his dream his doctor was a woman, and that he didn’t even think twice about it. I’m so grateful his world allows room for women to star as the doctors, and everything that represents.
2. Sometimes I get in “business mom” mode instead of just “mom” mode. What I mean is sometimes I get on these streaks where I act like the most important thing to me is the business side of raising children: making sure they don’t get away with anything, making sure I correct them, making sure they obey quickly, making sure they know who’s boss. While these things are important in their own way, when they aren’t mixed in with regular “mom”-ing, it all becomes more of a dictatorship than a family. I was in one of these modes the other week (and what do you know, I’m in a new one this week…) where I must have just been getting on James’ back for every little think he did wrong, poor kid. We were in the store parking lot, loading up, and, first things first, I instructed James to climb in his carseat and click into his seat belt so that by the time everything else was loaded and squared away he would be ready to go too. Well that time came around and James had been in the back seat, un-car-seated, playing with Charlie who was in his car seat already, just being silly. I (and my mood) got so frustrated that James had wasted all that time playing instead of focusing on buckling up and I let him know it. I told him to get in his seat right away, click into your seat belt, and to not ignore my instructions again (!!!). As he was climbing in he exclaimed, “Guuuuhhh, Mom! I’m not a bad kid, okay?!” I was stunned. He was right, I was expecting too much from him when he was already doing a great job. He was just playing with Charlie, after all. He wasn’t being a bad kid. He taught me a great lesson in that little outburst of his. I need to monitor my business side more.
3. The other night we were teaching James about how the scriptures teach us to pray not only for the people who love us, but also for the people who are mean to us. This stupefied him. He was shocked at the idea of praying for people who aren’t our friends. We gently told him that’s what Jesus did and so that’s what we try to do to. Anyway, we didn’t linger on it or anything, it was just part of nightly scripture study before prayers and bedtime. Well the next day he sort of got into it a little with some kids on the playground. One of the kids said they didn’t want to play with him (broken mama heart, but that’s for another post…) but then things got worked out and James found fun things to do. Well that night over dinner, James said the prayer. He said his usual “Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Charlie and the baby in Mommy’s tummy and for this great day and this great dinner…..” And then, out of no where, he said, “And thank you for the kids who were mean to me today.” I about broke down and bawled. So proud of him and his little heart.
The first kid is sort of the Guinea pig, we all know that. I mean, I sure as heck don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, and naturally James gets the brunt of my inexperience. I’m just grateful that James is so merciful with me as his mom. He lets me make mistakes and do test runs and say I’m sorry a lot. I’m grateful he’ll be on the team of raising the rest of the kids. Charlie already copies every tiny little thing James does and I gotta say, it’ll keep him on the right track. Actually, it’ll keep both of them on the right track, because James is really rising to his sense of duty as the oldest. He’s just my little man, and, like he reminded me, really isn’t a bad kid.