I might be growing a missionary kid. I sure hope he’s toughening up for something useful!
Derek made coffee this morning and then jumped in the shower before church. I sat on the couch to gulp a cup of coffee before my turn in the shower, and noticed Cameron with a plate full of food and a thermos of drink. Nobody else was awake and we hadn’t served breakfast yet. I asked, “What’s that you’re eating?”
“Oh, just this leftover pancake. I’m warming it up.” (A half-eaten pancake, from lunch yesterday, sitting in a dried puddle of syrup and butter.)
“I see. And what are you drinking?”
“I mixed water and milk together. It’s pretty good!” (Milk also from yesterday.)
He’ll stay outside in the cold way past the tolerance level of my other children. Perhaps even in his bare feet.
If he says the freshly painted bathroom doesn’t smell like paint, then there is nothing you can say to convince him that, “YES, what you smell IS PAINT!”
If he wants to play with the neighborhood boys, then he will cross the field and knock on their door. (Doesn’t matter that he’s already “grounded” for this very transgression!)
If he wants to bang on the stairs with a hammer, then he will bang on the stairs with a hammer.
So what do you think? Mud hut in Nepal? Maybe he’ll fulfill his mother’s childhood dreams? He really should live in a fire-retardant house. This boy has an obsession with fire! The other week he opened the furnace door, lit a stick on fire, and was carrying it around the basement. My other children say he was trying to light the couch on fire.
He keeps me humble!
I will never ever look another mom in the eye, or talk behind her back, about how her parenting needs to improve.
Some children just walk to a different beat! I’m struggling to walk with him. Guidance, not wrestling him off his path. Tough. Love. Sometimes it’s hard, and I can’t even find it in my human mother’s heart to be understanding and patient and firm with gentleness. (All those parenting magazines that say, “Take a deep breath and count to 10?” Oh, I go the extra mile on my counting.) So I go to God’s heart and beg for love and understanding for this child.
This boy, I seek out ways to connect with him. So he feels my love. Tangible. A wink in church… a huge smile first time I see him in the morning… a bear hug when he starts flopping with irritation… his favorite spoon, even though it’s impractical… reading a truck book instead of Facebook statuses… saying “yes” to another hug and kiss or song at bedtime… playing a board game he has no clue how to play… letting him make up the rules when the rules are insignificant… because the heart-strings being tied are significant. Lasting.
And if he catches even a glimpse of God’s unconditional love and grace, I’ve succeeded in my mothering. God will win him into the Kingdom. Not me. I’m just going to fight for him, and with him, no matter how crazy his beat!