Liam was as easy as babies come. He ate well, slept well, traveled well, and was generally content. Then one day a few months ago, it's as if he woke up. It's not that he became a bad kid. Not at all. He's just a vibrant, strong-willed, joyful, passionate little guy whose energy level is unlike anything I've experienced. Every day that's warm enough, we head to a local trail that wraps around a lake and Liam runs the entire two-mile length, giggling and chatting with passersby along the way. No stroller needed (or tolerated).
It's been a struggle in my own heart not to compare him to other kids. When we go to Chick-fil-A with a group, other kids are sitting quietly and munching on fries while Liam is either turning around to other tables and making conversation about dinos, or I can hear his happy screams through the glass wall of the play area. He's no wallflower, and there's rarely a time when he's not full throttle.
As I've prayed so much for him and for us in this exhausting season, I've come to realize that my frustrations usually boil down to my own pride. When he blatantly misbehaves or runs off or is the loudest one in the room, I fear it reflects poorly on me. That everyone is thinking, "Oh, she just can't keep her kid under control. What is she thinking, about to have another?!" I've become every mother I used to judge. It's humbling in so many ways.
This morning, I heard him saying, "G'morning, Biam!" in full volume before I heard my alarm. I flipped on the light, opened Streams in the Desert to today's devotion, and hoped to quietly focus my heart for the day ahead. This quote struck me:
"The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life." - FaberWhoa. I'd say "wear and tear" describe this season pretty perfectly, though assuredly dotted with moments of deep and pure joy. And I pray that I can be a soul that serves Jesus out of love. In this season, that means serving my son: by teaching him about the love Jesus has for him even when he disobeys. By enjoying him. By remembering that these days, though intense, are fleeting.
So if my blogging has become sparse, now you know why. It's just about all I can do to keep up with my wildly vivacious little man, grow a little lady, keep a home business running, share a few coherent words with Shawn at the end of the day, and keep my love for Jesus alive. By the end of the day, writing a blog post is often too high a mountain to climb. Is anyone there with me? I would love to know I'm not alone - and I hope you know you are surely not.
PS - I just saw a friend post this article, "Strong willed children are a blessing, not a curse." Maybe you need it, too. Timely and encouraging.