Every day at 2:30pm, the 10-year-old, and I drop whatever we’re doing and he makes us each a cup of tea. I clear off the kitchen counter and we sit. Usually we flip through art books, listen to music, or talk about books we’re reading. And we chat.
Today it was about The Wind in the Willows, Manet, and our NCAA brackets.
Hands down, the nerdiest thing we do. I love it.
My husband, Kevin, went to Brazil for the first time 9 years ago when my oldest, Caleb, was one. I was pregnant with my second and could barely get out of bed or keep anything down. To top it off, Caleb came down with a stomach bug while Kevin was gone (with the rest of my family)…and it was rough. My heart was ugly and I remember laying on the floor watching my baby toddling around needing things from me I couldn’t provide.
I never imagined that almost a decade later, this same needy baby boy would be confidently boarding a plane with his Daddy, passport in hand, to finally meet these people he’s grown up hearing about and seeing and watching and praying for. His Brazilian family. People we’ve known longer than him and have watched grow up and have kids of their own. People parts of my own family now live amongst. A remote little corner of the globe that by the grace of God, looks so very different than it did over a decade ago.
I pray that my worries will be overshadowed by my joy. The kind of joy that comes from sending my child off to a place where so many people already know his name and have likewise seen pictures of him growing up. Where God has done big things that I’m praying he’ll see and understand. Where he can meet and squeeze his new little baby cousin who one day will probably help him learn a language he wasn’t born speaking.
And though I’ll miss him and his Daddy like crazy, I pray these people will teach him and change him and become HIS people too by the time he makes it back to me…
Happy birthday my Caleb! The only thing crazier than my eldest turning 10 today, is the fact this also means we’ve been doing this parenting thing now for a whole decade.
I had to take months of behind-the-wheel before they gave me my license. I had to sit through four years of classes and exams (on top of the thirteen I already had under my belt) before I could get my degree and diploma to prove it. I had to interview with like six different people, intern, and hand over countless references before my first company hired me. I had to go through almost a year of forms and questionnaires and more interviews about all areas of my personal life before someone in the government decided I was responsible and trustworthy enough to handle sensitive documents and info for my job. Eight weeks of waiting for a passport. A month or so of applications and interviews before adopting our first dog. And then…
…I waddled into Fairfax hospital at the age of 23, and Kevin and I walked out shortly after with ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. To keep. I’m not sure they even asked us any questions to really make sure we knew what to do with the needy 7-pounder that was now ours. Mercy. …And guess what? WE HAVE KEPT THAT CUTE LITTLE GUY ALIVE FOR TEN WHOLE YEARS.
And not to say it hasn’t been a bumpy road, or that parenting isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but there is no question this freshly turned 10-year-old has changed my life.
Oh Caleb. He’s 10 going on 75. He’s an old soul who knows what he wants. Sometimes I feel like I’m raising a mix of Ron Swanson and Steve Jobs. He prefers classic literature and 50-year-old chapter books. He watches documentaries, cooking shows, and “This Old House.” He loves real estate. He has a notebook titled, “My Business Ideas,” and can turn a $2 investment into $54 in an afternoon or two out in the neighborhood. He’s the kind of kid who enjoys putting money into his savings account (yet he’s surpringly generous when he is confronted with a person in need). He loves sports. Playing, watching, discussing. The day we let him join our Fantasy League is a day our lives were forever changed 😉 He prefers homeschooling so he can get his work done, cut out the fluff, and get outside. He really likes being around people, but isn’t particularly sentimental. He reads history textbooks for fun as he goes to sleep. He knows a trillion more facts than me, and doesn’t let me forget it (and frequently questions whether or not I even went to school). He likes coffee, and games, and likes to cook. He’s incredibly useful and capable and smart and independent. He says whatever immediately pops in his mind. He doesn’t really care what people think. He is not a follower.
He is going to do big things, and my prayer is that he will do those big things for the glory of God. I love watching this kid grow, and growing along with him!
Boy conversations are my favorite.
[6-year-old neighborhood kid who is here almost every day, and is apparently noticing the baby for the very first time]:
K: “I didn’t know you had one of those.”
Jack: “Yeah. It’s a baby.”
K: “What kind is it?”
J: “It’s a girl one.”
K: “Is it yours?”
J: “Yeah. And my Mom’s.”
K: “Where’d you get it?”
J: “In Birginia.”
Peter Pan with his baby. And Tinkerbell…being herself.
I love my life.