Monday, November 19, 2012
He is only 2, but he is almost grown.
I know this because of all the older mothers who tell me it's so. But I know it, too, because I can sense it happening.
In his chubby hands that grow larger each day, edged with peanut butter and bread crumbs. In his shrinking sleeves that bear the smudges of his colors and "marks", as he calls them.
Here in the middle of our day, right in the middle of him playing with his trucks and police cars and Legos, sometimes right in the middle of lunch, or breakfast, or story time, I tell him:
William, I need...
And before I can finish he looks up and puts his arms around my neck. "A biiiiiiig hug," he says, the words coming out in his clear and ringing voice. He has a slight southern drawl that still catches me by surprise.
When he hugs me, I close my eyes. I wrap him up as close as can be and I breathe in deep his toddler graces, his baby shampoo and windblown curls and strawberry breath. He is always lugging a toy, a book, a tractor, a balloon. He is never empty handed.
And then he is off.
He is so fleeting, and I can't get him to stay still. Or to stop growing. He keeps on getting bigger and taller and smarter and funnier and leaner and, even though he is only 2, he is practically 17.
He is racing me. This is why I pour into him. Because he is growing and needs filling and teaching and I am the one charged with this task. I am the one who teaches him daily, who shows him and models for him about demonstrating love to others, who teaches about beauty, and grace, and how we turn to God in all times and all things, from the way we greet our grandparents at the door to the way we speak to strangers. And it is hard work that I do for him, but I do it because I love him and I love Him and even though I know I fail daily, I am sticking with it.
It is no small thing, this raising up of a child. Especially the part about "in the ways that he should go." But I am doing it, and already I see in him a light that is growing.
My sweet bundle of energy and happy laughter, I am doing my best for you. Even when it's hard, especially when it's mundane. I am doing this for you.