I gotta tell you guys... raising this boy of ours is a challenge! Every day feels like a fight to teach gentleness, manners, kindness, empathy, cleanliness, tidiness, respect, obedience and general social skills. On some level, I've always thought children inherited most of these life-lessons from their parents... gleaning attributes into their own lives as they live among their elders.
I cannot say this is true at this time in our lives.
Every day feels like dirt, loudness, defiance, rough housing, running, stomping, sassy talk, disrespect, disobedience, undoing everything, making messes, eating a lot, eating loudly, refusing food, demanding food, whining, chasing the cat, getting muddy, changing clothes, getting muddy again...
This boy will find a stick anywhere... it could be a parking lot, and he'll find it. Any object can be a sword and will be used as a weapon while running and jumping, nearly impaling himself, or another. I've found my child lodged underneath, beside and between things. He has hit his head on nearly everything. Smashed fingers, stubbed toes and slammed all appendages on all things.
There are many plans made. Plans for rockets ships, tree houses, forts, underground tunnels, digging lakes, adopting puppies, adopting kittens, collecting worms, feeding the birds, collecting the "worlds largest rock collection", finding dinosaurs, staying up all night, eating all the pizza, jumping the highest, running the fastest, being the sneakiest, and riding "all the animals!"
I end my days often sitting on the couch... with a cup of tea and blissful silence. After a day full of conversation, conflict, and compromise... I find myself empty. Hoping to fill my emotional tank just enough to start all over again the next day, I sit and mentally review the events... remembering the tough moments... but also remembering the sweetness.
Our boy is full of sweet. His morning greeting when he says: "Good morning mom. I love you and it's time to get up." The joy on his face when I place peanut butter and apples in front of him at the table. His giggles when we play hide and seek. The deep desire he has to be just like his Dad! I see sweetness between the hard moments... and though I often feel like our boy is too much "all aggression and messes and yelling!" I have glimpses of what his heart will always be like.
It will always be loving. Lucas will always have a heart that wants to serve others. He will always want to impress his father. Our boy's heart will always love his mother and always want to see her happy. That heart of his will always want to be adventurous and a physical challenge to make him feel like the brave soul he is!
This is the greatest challenge I've yet to come up against... this child of ours. He is opinions, and defiance and hard-headed... but the sweet, loving heart pulls me back in every time. Some days I wonder "what am I doing!?" because I am not equipped to raise this boy! But that heart... it slays me, and makes me want to try harder each day following.
Maybe, just maybe... this boy will be okay. As far as his mother goes... all bets are still out.