(This is my wee one - "too busy momma to look at that camera," says he last evening.)
When I found out that I was pregnant with my little Jonah four and a half years ago, I thought it was the most exciting news I had ever heard. The exact moment the midwife told me his due date and said that I was, indeed, "really pregnant," I felt like Superwoman. With a capitol S.
Fast forward to last night.
Jonah comes home from a weekend with his poppa. He has missed me, and I have ached for him over the few days away. He asks for a chicken leg (which I never, ever buy..but I had a hungry helper with me at Marsh last night...ahem.) eats said chicken, asks for a granola bar, a glass of water, a piece of cheese (oh so typical, the kid LOVES cheese), and a bit of pumpkin cookie that I made for the week "just to see if they are ok for breakfast before school sometimes." I oblige. Hey - I've missed him.
After eating 1,200 calories, he asks to be changed into "Mom, you know those worker man jeans I told my dad I had to wear to school and then you didn't like it when you saw me in them? You know, the ones that I pinned so and so down in when we were playing football? The ones with the rips and they look dirty even when you wash 'em. Those momma. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze?" I oblige. You would have too.
I put the jeans on him, and when I pull them up to his waist, I realize he has literally grown. Over a two day period. Like an inch - and around the waist too. The adjustable band is let out, and I pull the jeans down over his cowboy boots. (which, btw, don't buy your kid cowboy boots because they are on sale and he wants them...because then they are worn every single day without fail no matter where you are going and you know that the $16 bones you paid for them do not fall in the category of "correct footwear for growing children.") My son, dearies, is growing like a weed.
Then it is straight to worker man mode for Jonah. You know, like pile every single tool that will fit on the loops of those jeans until they are falling off your behind which cracks you up because everything about your posterior area is funny when you are four.
When I came back into the bathroom (filled with dust at this point, thanks to the never-ending hours of sanding, and sanding..and sanding some more) Jonah is completely absorbed.
He is measuring everything in site, mumbling, "36 hundred inches," "44 inches...that's a foot," and then cutting away with his "worker man tools" and the pen he asked for has covered check marks on all exposed two by fours in my linen closet. "It's good momma," he says. "This is really sturdy cuz I checked in on it." So great.
And when clean-up, bath-time, consider-clothing-options-for-following-school-day comes (hey, I've learned my lesson. We decide the night before.) I get asked this:
"Momma, don't you think it would be really, reeeeeeeelly cool for my buds at school to see me in my worker man stuff? It's almost Thanksgiving mom."
Like that has something to do with it.
And so, I oblige.
I love, love, love being Jonah's mom. I love it for the moments I have shared here, and for the sweet moments like cracking hard boiled eggs for salad together at the sink, where he tells me things on his mind, and I can offer the solice to him. I always say, "you know B, no matter what is bothering you, we can always pray about it. Jesus always listens, and he always answers our prayers." And he is beginning his journey of believing, and that is the biggest responsibility I feel as a parent. To lead my child to heaven's path. To build a strong foundation of hope, trust and love.
I have been reading, at my parent's prompting, a James Dobson book entitled something about "raising kids isn't for the faint-hearted..." I have skimmed it for the points I wanted to research, but I came across one point that I find fascinating: praying for your kiddos.
In the chapter, Dobson talks about how when he was raising his kids, he prayed for them as often as possible, just as his father had prayed for him. He prayed specifically: God, please be with my child when they come to cross-roads. Help them to turn towards the right path, and keep them safe in their decisions. When these sticky situations come up, let them hear a voice of reason.
Sometimes, after Jonah has drifted off to sleep and we have already said our prayers, I'll sit on the edge of his bed and just be with him. I pray for things that might seem way off in the future, but I know that they will come, God-willing.
"Lord, please prepare a woman for Jonah that will one day become his wife. Fill her with goodness and a strong being. Prepare Jonah to be a good husband, and a good father, a good friend. Be with their children...help me always be a positive influence to their family when it begins. Be with Jonah when he feels peer pressure. Let him know I am always here, and so is his father. Help me to be a good parent. Help this household give him a good foundation. Let him know the importance of hard work, and dedication, and heart for what he loves. And thank you, because he is the biggest blessing in my life."
I like the idea of getting a "head-start" if you will on these things. It is like a savings plan, but with God's blessing and backing. He matches my investment a bajillion fold.
Before our night ended last night, Jonah asked me to wrap him up like a baby in his "magic" blankie...and then rock him. I melted. I miss having baby baby time, and I don't know that I will ever have that chance to rock a newborn again. So, again, I obliged. With all 45 pounds of him, wrapped up in my arms and dozing off to sleep, just like the long nights of nursing when he came home from the hospital. And I felt God fill me up, and I felt the pull of the Holy Spirit around me, warming up my heart and whispering, "I am God. I am in you, I am around you, I am here with you. When you feel like Jonah is growing too fast, when you feel like you miss him so much, I am here with you. And I am with him."
My prayers are answered. And that, my friends, is what I am thankful for this season. For unending love, for answered prayers, for promises fulfilled and hope for the future, for worries and health problems and squabbles from the past, all put to rest.
"Family life is full of major and minor crises -- the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce -- and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul." ~ Thomas Moore