There are some days that I wonder, How could I have been so blessed?
Children are a miracle, in and of themselves, but then I look at Kid and I realize that he is proof that God does exist. Kids like him don’t just *happen* and there is NO way that I could have had anything to do with how wonderful he is.
Kid is what is known as “strong-willed”. He has been a difficult child to raise, and he is only 6. And not difficult in the sense that he is disrespectful or needy or clingy or an absolute terror. Quite the contrary. He taught himself how to make pancakes when he was 3. Its been 3.5 years and after making pancakes on a VERY regular basis, he has only burnt himself once, and not bad enough to leave a mark. I got out of the shower when he was 3.5 and saw him cutting cheese for his sister. Using a very sharp knife. He asks to play outside in the yard, and when I go check on him, he has walked to the park 5 blocks away.
And its not just his independance that is difficult on me. His brain doesn’t seem to process the little things. I tell him to go get dressed and walk in ten minutes later to him sitting on his bed, one leg in his pants, reading a book. Halfway through his task, he gets so distracted he forgets what he is doing. The park incident is another example. He just walked to the end of the driveway, and then kept going. Not once thinking, I should stop, or at the very least let Mommy know where I am going.
But even on top of all of this, there is something so very special about him. At the age of 4, he began thanking me for dinner. Not every night, as he is still 4 and will forget. But he tried to remember every night. One night, he came up to me and said, “I do not like the potatoes you made”. Then got worried I would be offended and rushed on to add “but I really do appreciate you making them!!” FOUR!?
When he was five Baby, him and I go to the park as a family. Baby is 3 and she brings her doll and her doll stroller and she is running to keep up with her brother. She falls, and scrapes her nose, her forehead, her chin. There is blood everywhere and she is screaming. We rush home, Baby and her stroller in my arms, and Kid running ahead of us. He runs the block and a half ahead of me, drops off his tonka truck, comes running back grabs her baby stroller from me, and runs that home. Baby and I get home, and I go into the bathroom to wash her up, and he comes in saying six words I don’t hear from most adults “What can I do to help?”
Just before his six birthday, after I made the very difficult decision to allow him to move in with his father, a FIVE hour drive away, he walked into my room and just out of the blue, “you’re a really good Mom” and walked away. Later that day, “Thank you Mommy. For everything that you do”.
He started opening the car door for me and Baby. And I always thank him. I make sure I let him know that I appreciate his gentleman-ness. Last week he gets out of surgery, and his father wheels him to the car and helps him in, since the caudal hadn’t quite worn off. (Think epidural, but kid-safe). Kid and I drive home and we stop in a town about 2 hours away for a potty break and snacks. He had JUST been discharged not even 3 hours prior to this, out of surgery only 5 hours, and the kid limps over to my side of the car and opens the door for me. My heart melted at the completely selflessness of the act.
But what really makes me wonder how I EVER deserved a kid like him is when we are sitting in church; the Pastor, and a friend of the family, announces that we have a worship team of 25 coming from North Carolina and there is a need for pillows, blankets, air mattresses, or even mattresses if there are any extras, and linen. I had already given about 5 pillows that are not used very often, but didn’t have anything else that I could spare. Or so I thought.
Kid looked up at me, and said, “will we get the mattresses back?” I whispered to him, “Of course, they just need them for about a week.” He accepted this answer and looked straight ahead for about 10 seconds. What I wasn’t aware of was he was processing what the Pastor had said, and what we had in our house and if he could do anything for the worship team. All of this, in under 10 seconds and Kid comes up with the most selfless solution.
“Mom? Can I sleep on the couch for a week so I can give them MY mattress?”
Cue the tears.
There are many more examples of how Kid is a gift straight from God, and even now, at such a young age, I KNOW he is not a gift for me. He is a gift for everyone else, and for a reason unbeknownst to me, I have been the one entrusted to ensure he reaches his full potential, to be able to reach out and bless the world with his compassion, his sensitivity, his love.