September 29, 2016

Wilson, Six Years Old

James Wilson, you are beyond my wildest dreams.

This morning when I dropped you off for school, you did this thing that I love. You kept looking back at me, quick side-glances, trying to stifle this grin that was threatening to take over your entire face. I knew what the grin was saying: "Look how big I am, Mom! I have my own backpack and I am walking into school all by myself!" But you were trying to swallow all of that because you also wanted to appear so casual about it... like you've been doing this for a month now, and it's not a big deal. But I really wanted to roll down my window and yell, "It IS a big deal! You are such a big boy and doing big, big things. And your tiny little frame walking into those big double doors just doesn't seem right to me... but you are ready for it!" But I didn't. You're welcome. And as you were swallowing your smile, I was swallowing my tears.

Every day I am looking at you wide-eyed, thinking how wonderfully you're made.

You starting Kindergarten this year was a huge thing in our family and you counted down the days for three months. I've never seen you so excited about something... It felt like exactly what you were made for: a structured environment with people all around you. A full day of social interaction and learning, your two favorite things. You are at this amazing school with an incredible teacher and grace and gospel frame your days. I get pretty teary thinking about how much goodness you are getting there... You can't even know, because it's all you know. You're in a class with Owen, who's been attached to your side (because your mamas have been attached to one another) for five of your six years of life... You really don't and can't remember life without him. Sometimes you fight like brothers, but I love that you have someone so familiar and dear with you while you're away from me.

You are still totally infatuated with all things biological. You've made a new friend on the playground at school who likes to find bugs and I was tickled to the point of tears thinking about these two little entomologists finding a kindred spirit in one another. Wilson, I think it makes me laugh because I am totally amazed by your mind... It is nothing like mine, and so at times I am completely baffled by you. I watched you and Charlie have a light saber fight today in the back yard and you stopped mid-swing because something was flying in front of your face and you were just too curious to let it keep going without you observing it first. Charlie jabbed you in the gut while you were distracted and we all laughed about how different you two are. I love it. Please, just be you.

Charlie moved into your room this month to make room for Baby Sister and you moved from a double bed to a twin. You didn't complain one time. I know there are times when Charlie is taking over your space and he actually bullies you three times as much as you pester him... but mostly you are so kind to him. When you're at school, Charlie will say, "I want Bubba. Go get Bubba?" And that's because you two are one another's best playmate. I know there must be harder times ahead for your relationship, but I hope it will circle back to this sweet friendship. I am really proud of you for laying such a solid foundation for you and your brother.

Panda Express was your Birthday Eve dinner of choice
We still have some struggles with anger that come out of your need to be in control. Don't we all just want to be in control? And all of these moments of fits and tears remind me that I really still have no idea what I'm doing in parenting you (I'm sorry)... and that I am so desperately in need of God to be our Shepherd. We have all failed each other in a lot of areas but sometimes your Daddy will kneel down with you in your time-out chair and will gently and firmly tell you, "I want what you want Wilson. I'm on your side. We just have to figure out how to get there calmly." and it makes me plead with Jesus that this will be the only thing you remember: That we, as a family, are all on the same team. That your sin is our sin and we are fighting it with you. What a beautiful gift we have in family! I'm so glad you are in ours.

You're playing soccer again this fall and I just don't know that sports will ever be your thing. And guess what, Little Man? That is FINE.  I love that you are learning the discipline of practice and what it means to be on a team. Even if your team has only scored one goal this entire season! This summer you took tennis lessons for a week and you wore a sweatband that said "Wilson," which might have been your favorite thing about the experience. The first day you loved every minute but by the end of the week you were begging not to go back. But it was summer in south Mississippi so that may not have a lot to say about your love or lack thereof for sports.

Star Wars is kind of a recurring topic of conversation in our house these days. We went through the entire seven episodes this summer and every time we were about to start one you would say something like, "I can't believe this is really happening. My heart is beating so fast!" Now you have your favorite fight scenes and you know the name of all of the ships and it's all lost on me... but I love that you love it. As I type, you are squinting in the darkness of your room to study all the characters in your Star Wars activity book while Charlie is in dreamland. That is some steady dedication, little Jedi.

You are doing so well in beginning to read. You brought home your first reader from school and sped through it with the biggest smile on your face. I keep thinking what an incredible world you are about to be unleashed to find. You just really can't know how many good things are ahead for you.

Those tears that I was swallowing back this morning were swelling with two different emotions. Yes, it's hard for me to be on this side of the door... watching you walk away from me. I do mourn for the days when we didn't know what it was like to be apart, when our relationship was less complicated and we didn't say things to each other that we regretted. When it was as easy (and as hard) as cheerios, Micky Mouse Club and a trip to the zoo to see your lemurs. But I was also joyfully teary. I was thinking how in God's kingdom, the best is always forward. Further up, and further in. That God's grace always propels us to run and to look ahead because there is nothing to fear when He is at the finish line. Wilson, your best days are coming. There was that moment when you decidedly stopped looking back at me with that stifled grin and just kept walking... but I was still watching. I inched along so that I could watch you until you disappeared into the chaos of other little people who were all tangled up in a criss-cross of their mothers' heart-strings. And when I couldn't see you anymore, God could. He sees. He knows. He is giving landing to your every little but significant step. We love you dearly, Little Man...

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