You Might Not Remember

N and I were laying side by side, having one of our bedtime chats a few nights ago and he was quizzing me about “when you were a little girl, Mommy”, “did you do this and that?” And, honestly, I had a hard time answering. I couldn’t remember all of the specifics that he wanted me to remember. The details are hazy now. I wish they weren’t. I’d love to remember. I had a beautiful childhood. I WANT to remember it. All of it. As he fell asleep, I held him tight for a little longer than normal. My heart hurt as I realized … he won’t remember this. Oh. My. Gosh! He won’t remember US, the way we are right now. And, ahhhh, the way we are right now is everything to me. And, to him. And, He won’t remember. And, I’d love to say that I would … that I’d remember for the both of us. But, I don’t have the world’s best memory, sooo, I might not remember all of it either. Ugh. My poor Momma’s heart! So, what’s a girl to do to? Well, write it down, for one thing …

~My N. You probably won’t remember. At times it’s a thought that haunts me. This special time that we are sharing right now – this magical season in our lives – this most amazingly wonderful time. You won’t remember it. You’ll simply call it “your childhood” and hopefully, think of it fondly. But, actual formed memories … You’ll have a few. You’re 4. Not many people remember 4 very well, if at all. Our day-to-day lives and routine right now – you won’t remember. You already don’t remember our first moments together – the very first time ours eyes locked, the way we already knew each other. You don’t remember the day you decided to finally smile at me. The way the fog lifted then, and all was right in the world. Or, the way you’d cling to me to me late into the night, not wanting to be left alone. You’d cry, “rockaby baby, rockaby baby.” You won’t remember how you loved bath time and how you’d giggle when I sang, “Stinky feet, Stinky feet, I love you.” You won’t remember Daddy and I taking turns laying in your bedroom floor because you refused to sleep or how you slip your hand through the rails of your toddler bed to hold hands with me. You won’t remember the way our hearts hurt when we had to say goodbye in the mornings at daycare. Your face and your tears broke my heart every time. Yet, you’d race into my arms at the end of the day and we’d both feel whole again. You might just remember how much you loved your Curious George, how much you needed him, how you took him everywhere, how he went to school with you every single day of your 3-yr-old preschool. You might have loved him just enough to remember loving him. You might not remember the summer that Audrey was born. I started staying home full time with you and we’d spend afternoons just laying in the grass talking to each other. You might not remember becoming your momma’s very best friend that summer. You might not remember, how, when I’d dry your hair after bath-time, you’d lay your head on my belly and whisper to your sister. You might not remember how you insisted her name be Peaches and how you called her Peachie her whole first year. You might actually remember coming to the hospital in your Big Brother shirt carrying a pink bear, ready to meet our baby for the first time. It was pure magic. The kind of memories that, when strung together, make up a lifetime. Sigh. You probably won’t remember how you’d swear you were gonna marry me one day. “When I’m a grown-up, I’m gonna marry you, Mommy.” “And, drive a big truck too!” Oh, how sweet your love for your momma is. May we never forget. How you’d shyly whisper, “I love you more than anyone else in the world.” My heart would burst, not just from your dear, sweet words, but from the way you said them. You pronounced words correctly, but in your own way. I adored it! It wasn’t “world”, it was more like “wolod”. And, my boy, you sure rocked mine. My world. You won’t remember singing the sweetest Sunday School songs in the car with me. Or, saying prayers for strangers whenever an ambulance would go by or we’d pass an accident. You probably won’t remember how you’d fly out of the door when I’d pick you up at pre-school and jump straight into my arms for giant hugs and kisses. You won’t remember asking me for “snuggle buggle time” or curling up with me under our favorite blanket. You might not remember how wonderful you were to your baby sister. How much time you’d spend talking, playing and teaching her. Oh, my boy. You probably won’t remember all of this — your first years. But, I want you to know. They were dear, sweet, messy, beautiful, lovely, innocent, perfection. I may not remember all of the details as clearly as I’d like either. Yet, I know we’ll always have it. The feeling that comes from it. That part won’t leave us. The love. The beauty. The joy. That feeling — it’ll always be ours. We’ll always have that.

Xoxoxo

The Jesse Tree – A New Tradition

First, with a thankful heart, I wish you a lovely Thanksgiving. I hope you are spending the holiday loving on your sweet family. But, if you aren’t, if your day will be spent working, or if the holiday feels bittersweet to you … my prayers are with you …

Honestly, though, today my heart is focused on the upcoming Christmas holiday. I’ve tried to plan a little more this year … though to be perfectly honest, we all know what happens when we plan … life laughs in the face of our plans, right? But, by plan, I don’t mean decorate or prepare my home. I haven’t even touched any of that yet. My decorations are still in the attic. Maybe next year I’ll “plan” to decorate earlier. This year, I’ve been attempting to prepare my heart for the holiday. I truly want to focus our family’s thoughts and hearts on The Lord this year, as He is The Reason For The Season after all. There will still be plenty of Santa, our Elf-On-The-Shelf, Christmas cookies, Christmas movies and reindeer in our house. We do love those things too! But, I want to raise my children with a clear focus toward God. What better time to start then now?

Have you heard of the Jesse Tree? Maybe you have. Maybe you’ve been doing it for years. If so, good for you! I’d love to hear from you about how your family incorporates this tradition. Feel free to comment below and share with the rest of us. If you are like me, and you are just discovering this amazing tradition, maybe you can start with me …

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I was initially inspired by an article on Missional Motherhood (which is a fantastic resource for women, by the way) titled Teaching Your Children His Story With The Jesse Tree. So, what is the Jesse Tree? To put it simply, it is an advent re-telling of the lineage of Christ. It’s told in a chronological way (from Creation to the birth of Jesus) that makes more sense to our children … and, honestly, to us too. Each day, starting either after Thanksgiving or on December 1st, a new ornament (one that you can create, download, buy, etc.) is put on your Jesse Tree, representing the story for that day. My plan is to keep this tradition as simple as possible this year as my children are only 4 and 1. Then, I’ll grow it as they grow. I don’t want this to feel like a hassle, something else that we have to do. I want it to be enjoyable, easy, fun and meaningful. This year, we will read the Bible verses and story for each day together, then we will create the ornament for the day with foam paper, crayons, markers and yarn. The ornaments will be messy, childlike and … wonderful! I’m going to place a small tree in the dining room that will act as our Jesse Tree. The Littles can add their handmade ornament each day and decorate this tree as they choose. I’m not looking for pretty or perfect here. I’m looking for meaning and memories.

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The goal, with the Jesse Tree, is to have a more intentional Christmas. To approach the holiday with faith and the desire for our children (and ourselves) to grow spiritually. To create meaningful traditions and memories, while allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate their precious hearts to be drawn to Him.

Let’s do it. Let’s create meaning.

A list of helpful resources for you:

Missional Motherhood

Ann Voskamp

Blessed Beyond a Doubt

I Didn’t Know – So Hard to Watch Them Grow

This morning N wanted to watch a video (a video of himself) on my phone. He doesn’t usually watch the older ones, but this morning he chose the oldest. It was recorded a year and a half or so ago. We watched it together and laughed at how cute and sweet his baby voice sounded. He was maybe two and a half years old. He was singing happy birthday and other silly songs. He was talking about my growing belly and what it was going to be like to have a sister. He looked so much smaller to me, so much more like a baby. I didn’t realize just how much he’d grown. Just how different he’d become. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting to react to it the way that I did. But, his voice was just too precious. It brought tears to my eyes immediately. I smiled over at him, tucked snuggly under my arm, and we giggled and laughed about “silly Mommy and her happy tears.” Later though, after I dropped him off at pre-school, I watched it again by myself and I cried a little more. Maybe it IS silly. But, for a moment I let myself miss that little guy. I allowed my heart to hurt. It’s just amazing to me … how much he grew in a single year … how different he sounded. How different he is. I don’t want to be sad. This is a GOOD thing. This is the BEST problem to have. My children are growing. I’m not crying over any tragedy or loss. It’s all good. Yet, every now and then, I let myself grieve the passing of time. I let myself FEEL it. It does hurt. It does. I have a wonderful boy and a wonderful girl. They are healthy.  I love watching N grow and become who he’s going to be. I love it. I love who he is today. Yet, I just didn’t know it would be so painful. I didn’t know how I would mourn each stage once it passed. I watch A now and try to memorize each little piece of her. I know how quickly it goes. How fast it’s moving. I want her to be my baby. I’m grasping for her to stay little. I’m no fool. I know exactly what happens when you hold too tightly to something. It slips right through your fingers. I want them to grow, of course. Of course. I just didn’t know. I just wasn’t prepared. I didn’t know that I’d yearn for them, my babies. That I’d miss their littleness, even as they are still right by my side. That I’d miss two-year-old N and 3-year-old N and 6-month-old A. My memory isn’t the best. I have trouble holding on to all the details. I just can’t keep them all or remember it all. It grows fuzzy way too fast and I’m left feeling helpless. I didn’t realize, I didn’t know, that with motherhood would come the strangest combination of wholeness and brokenness. I had no idea it was possible to feel, simultaneously, complete joy and the crush of a broken heart. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that watching my babies grow would fill me with pride and wonder… and agony. I didn’t know that I marvel at the child they were becoming while still longing for my chubby-handed baby. I didn’t know that I would feel so much all of the time. All. The. Time. I feel so much. It’s like I’ve been stripped raw. They say that once you have a child, it feels like your heart is separate from your body … that your heart is out there, walking around in this big ‘ole world. And, I find that statement to be completely true. My heart grew, with each baby, so full and tender that there are days when I worry it will burst wide open. It’s full of love, joy, peace, happiness, tenderness, fear, worry, pain. There are days when I’ve never felt more, or less, like myself. It’s the most puzzling of mysteries. The heart of a momma.

Halloween Recap

Yes, Halloween is over. The costumes have been tucked away. Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner … and already filling our minds. Yet, I just have to take a day to recap our 2014 Halloween costumes. This year, we went the DIY route and I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Of course, I’m no seamstress and couldn’t have done it without the help of my mother (N & A’s talented Gram). I mean, really, they would not have had these costumes without her.

N wanted to be The Man With The Yellow Hat. It truly was the most fitting costume that he could have chosen for himself. He’s loved his Curious “Georgie” for nearly a year and a half now. That stuffed George of his looks loved too, let me tell you. So, I was pretty thrilled that he selected such a unique costume, and one that was just so HIM. However, a brief Google search showed that there weren’t any Man With The Yellow Hat costumes for kids. None. Amazon offers an adult version, but that wouldn’t help us any. So, I enlisted the help of good ‘ole Gram and we tackled N’s costume together. She really did the hard part. She sewed yellow pants and a yellow shirt. I made the yellow tie and the yellow hat.

I started with a basic, black, kids-sized witch hat and yellow felt. Then, really, I just went for it. I wish I had step-by-step DIY instructions that I could share with you, but I don’t. I just held my breath and got started. My goal – to cover the witches hat with yellow felt, make it less pointy on top, and reassemble The Man’s yellow hat as much as possible. Perfection was NOT the goal. And, after doing, I’m so glad it wasn’t, because I sure didn’t achieve the PERFECT yellow hat. But, I did achieve my goal!

As for the tie, I simply used one of N’s ties as a guide, traced it onto the felt, cut out separate pieces, and hot-glued it together. I doubled the felt so that the tie would be thicker and I left room at the top (knot) to thread the elastic through so that N could easily wear it around his neck. I’ll admit, the tie was easy. The hat …. not easy.

In the end, N was The Man With The Yellow Hat. He looked awesome. He felt awesome. It was ALL awesome!

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Next came A’s costume. This was her first REAL Halloween. Last year, she was an itty-bitty 2-month-old and I didn’t put her in a costume. This year, A’s one and this momma wanted to have some fun! Plus, A didn’t care about Halloween. She didn’t have multiple ideas and opinions about what she wanted to be (unlike a certain brother of hers). She didn’t even really know what was going on … she was just along for the ride. So, I just had to, HAD TO do one more “peach” themed something for our little Peachie. I just couldn’t help myself. I had seen a Rockford Peach costume on Pinterest months earlier and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was perfect for her, really. And, A League of Their Own had always been one of my favorite movies. SOOO… Gram to the rescue once more! She found an adorable little dress pattern, some peachie pink fabric and she created the sweetest little dress for A. I found Rockford Peach patches on Etsy and a tiny red hat on Amazon, and Ta-Da…. a costume was born!!

Here she is in all of her Rockford Peach baseball glory! My Little Miss Peachie!

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Hope y’all enjoy our costumes as much as we did! Happy Halloween!

My Best Girl – For Harper Jane

I’ve been reading too many sad articles this week. My heart is sore and sensitive. Part of me is aching for a world that I can’t help. I’m feeling raw. It’s time to crawl back in my cocoon and love on my littles. I have to put my phone away and stop reading things like this. They have a place. They have a purpose. But, no more for this week. No more tears for the world this week….

IMG_1441As I type this, my sweet best friend, my beautiful gold retriever, leans over and licks my leg. It confirms what I was already thinking. It’s time to get out of this house. She wants a walk and it’s a gorgeous, pristine fall day. I look down at her. I don’t know why they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I’d take this sweet gal over a diamond any day of the week. She’s the best of the best. All of these new studies confirming that dogs are intelligent, have the ability to reason and show emotion crack me up. All you have to do is love one. Then, you already know.

Harper Jane was/is my first baby. She’s the first one that I carried through the doors of our home. We loved her immediately. And, she returned our love without question. She loves hearing the story of how we chose her, straight out of a picture. It’s almost funny to watch. She gets still and quiet and listens carefully. So I tell her. I tell her all about how I became her mommy. She eats it up. So I keep telling her. I know it’s hard for her sometimes. She was the first baby, but most days, she comes in last. There’s a long line of needs that must be met throughout the day and she’s the quiet one. She’s the easy one. She’s the one that waits patiently for a little attention. Those of you that aren’t “dog people” may not get it. This is silly, you may think. But, she’s one of my great loves. And, she deserves more. I write about N and A all the time. I never write about my Harper. So, this one is just for her…

My Best Girl

She sees through us,

She knows what we need,
Her heart is gold,
So is she,
She’ll always be my best girl,
My best girl
Her soul is pure,
Her aura is bright,
She loves the wind,
She brings the light,
She’ll always be my best girl,
My best girl
She keeps us calm,
She makes us whole,
She brings love,
She soothes the soul,
She’ll always be my best girl,
My best girl
She doesn’t like to cuddle,
It’s not her way,
But she loves to give kisses,
It makes her day,
She’ll always be my best girl,
My best girl.

To My N, On His 4th Birthday

I have caught myself wistfully gazing at N on and off over the past few weeks …. And, yes, occasionally with tears in my eyes. I just can’t believe he’s 4. I just can’t grasp it. He’s my baby. Yet, he’s not a baby at all. He’s not even a toddler. He’s a kid. I have a kid. A kid who celebrated his 4th birthday with a Curious George party and 5 of his closest friends. A kid who is seriously as sweet as pie. A kid who stole his momma’s heart long ago. A kid who is full of surprises. A kid whose momma writes him birthday letters…

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To my Favorite Boy,

It’s your 4th birthday and there are things that I’d like to share with you. Things that one day, maybe you won’t remember. Things about your life right now, as you turn 4. Things your momma tells you now, but they just might matter more to you later.

First: You should know how positively crazy your daddy and I are about you. Yeah, I know we may act like you drive us crazy sometimes … and you do … which you should also know if perfectly normal and typical and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But, despite that, we adore you. We marvel at you. We are impressed by you. You are growing up and growing into yourself. God gave us YOU! And, we couldn’t be more thrilled. We see you. We like you. We love you.

Second: You are so sweet to me. You love me so much. I’ll always be grateful for your love. It’s the most special thing in my life. I never even knew, or imagined that a love like yours existed. You say you want to marry me. You say you love me to the moon. You say you’ll love me forever and ever. You say that you love me more than anyone else in the world. You melt me. My tears flow freely because my heart can’t hold all of the love you give me. Your love makes me strong. Your love makes me better. One day it won’t be like this. One day you’ll discover other interests or sports or friends or (gasp) other girls. One day I won’t be your whole world. Until then, I will CHERISH being your favorite – being the one you adore. I cherish it.

Third: You are seriously good at being a big brother. Maybe you don’t love to share. Who does? Maybe you get upset when A drools on your toys. Who wouldn’t? But, you sing to her in the cry when she’s upset. You sing, “Every little thing is gonna be okay.” You sing it over and over and over, in your sweet, magical voice. And, it works. It works almost every time. She stops crying, your little sister, and she watches you and listens to you. You soothe her.

Fourth: You still love George. He’s your guy. For an entire year, your stuffed Curious George has gone everywhere with us. And, I mean EVERYWHERE. He never stays behind. At first, he was your security. He helped you be brave when you felt shy, insecure, scared and worried. You needed him and he was there. Now, though, I see a shift. You don’t need George in the same way. You are becoming braver all on your on. You are changing. George is still there. He still goes everywhere with us, but it feels more like a habit. Part of your routine. The way things are done. I don’t think he’s your security anymore. I don’t think you need him. I think you’ve got this. You got this, my boy!

Fifth: You have a mind of your own. I’m not sure I need to say more. You pick out your “comfy” clothes each morning and you prefer matching … as in, orange on orange or head-to-toe green. You like things a certain way. You are Mr. Particular. Your imagination is really taking of now. I love watching this new change in you. Now, you spend your days stuck in a parallel universe somewhere between “real” and “pretend.” It’s pretty fun to witness.

Sixth: I think 4 is gonna be an awesome year. It’s only been one month, but already I sense a difference in you. Okay, I don’t just sense it … it’s plain as day. You are actually listening to me, responding, doing what I ask without complaining. Leaving me to stare at you with my mouth open wondering if someone has snatched my 3-year-old non-listener. Oh yeah. Someone has. It’s this 4-year-old. Hi, 4-year-old Noah. You. Are. Awesome.

Seventh: You are my best friend and one of the very greatest loves of my life. I thank God for you daily. I love you beyond measure.

Happy Birthday Love!

Love Always,  Your Momma

Sweet as a Peach Birthday

Last week, I shared my letter, To My A, on Her 1st Birthday, with you. As is my style, it was sentimental, a bit sappy, and loaded with momma love. But, there was more to her birthday than just me being emotional. So, today, I want to do something a little different. I want to share the PARTY!

To celebrate our A turning ONE, we threw a our “Peachie” a “Sweet as a Peach” party! Yes, yes, I’ll fill you in on the background of “Peachie” and her unique party theme — When I was pregnant with A, N was really into watching Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In the movie, the woolly mammoth couple (Ellie and Manny) are expecting a baby. When she’s born, they name her Peaches. Thus, N decided that our baby should also be named Peaches. Throughout my entire pregnancy  … and for the first 10 months of A’s life, she was known as Peaches or Peachie. One day, N just stopped calling her Peachie. Just like that. No explanation, no anything … he just started using her real name. I don’t know why. It’s just one of those things, I guess. Still, a little piece of my heart broke off, I think, as I realized they were both growing up and moving on. Sigh.

Anyways, SO, once I started planning the party, I kept thinking about our Peachie … and a theme was born! It was truly an event … fun, happy and lovely! Perfect for our girl!

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To My A, on Her 1st Birthday

My sweet girl turned 1 a few weeks ago. I don’t think I’ve fully come to terms with it just yet. I’m just in awe of how quickly this year has gone and how much A has changed and grown. The first year is so FULL OF CHANGE. It’s amazing. And, she’s amazing. My sweet Little Miss Peachie. In honor of her first birthday, here’s my first letter to her …

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To my dear baby A,

We made it, Little Miss! It’s been a year! It’s an emotional day for me. I just can’t believe that you, my itty-bitty one, are 1 already. I’m not quite ready for you not to be my tiny baby anymore. I’m just not ready. You, sweet one, made the first year such a joy. From the moment you came into this world (full of fire), you were a happy, sleepy girl. You took it easy on me. Thank you for that! I just love you. I just LOVE you. From the very first second, I’ve loved you in the most fierce way. You are my girl. I still can’t believe it sometimes – that you are here with us, that you are ours. You’ve completed me in best way possible. I just don’t know if my heart can handle anymore! But, I hate how quickly I’m forgetting all of your baby-ness. It all goes by in a blur and, at times, it can be so hard to remember it all. I just want you to know that I loved your baby stage. It can be so hard, but with you, I truly enjoyed it. I wish I could keep a piece of you from each stage of your life, so that I could visit that part of you whenever I want. I’m already missing baby A, as toddler A has taken over. So, for today, here’s a written photograph of my lovely, beautiful, feisty girl … the piece of you for me to bottle and keep … just as you are in my mind right now.

At 1 you are …

  • Giggles. Full of giggles
  • Playing Peek a Boo
  • Playing chase & loving getting caught
  • Huge smiles
  • Fiery. What a temper!
  • My good sleeper. You love your bed.
  • A big eater. You love food!
  • Miss Independent. “Put me down and let me run.” You don’t want to be held. You won’t let me rock you.
  • Playing with toys
  • Loving on your “Betty Baby” doll
  • A giver of funny open mouth kisses
  • Full of big hugs and squeezes
  • Throwing kisses
  • Laughing at your Bubby N. He can make you happier than anyone else.
  • Screaming in the car. Man, you sure hate your car seat.
  • Squealing at Daddy. You adore your Da-Da!
  • Running toward me yelling, “MaMaMaMa”

Oh, my girl. Right now, at 1, I love listening to you babble and talk to your baby-doll. I love the way you scrunch up your nose when you smile … or when you are making a grumpy face. I love how excited you are to see me, and to see your daddy when he gets home from work. You know exactly how to turn it on and light us up! I love your determination. You refuse to be seen as a baby. In your mind, you are big girl and you are gonna do it yourself. I already admire your spirit and zest for life. You make us whole. You have our hearts.

I’ll love you until the end of all time.

— Your Momma

 

Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

This long, lazy, 4th of July weekend was simple perfection. It was sweet and carefree and so good for my soul. We kept it easy, old-fashioned, and no-fuss. It was exactly what our little family needed. It left us feeling refreshed, lighter, and proud. Proud to be living in this great country. Proud that we were born in America. Proud to dress the littles in red, white and blue! The 4th of July will do that for you … renew something inside of you … make you feel just like a child again. In the best way possible, of course!

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Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Is there anything better than laying in the grass and giggling?

With you, and all of your wonderfully carefree innocence, there isn’t. There isn’t anything better.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Popsicles on hot days. The sound of the ice cream truck. Finding shapes in the clouds.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Fireworks on the 4th of July. Hot dogs. Bare feet.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Picnics. Playgrounds. Lazy days. Pool days.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Sandboxes. Lemonade. Climbing trees.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Blanket forts. Popcorn nights. Red, white and blue.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Nursery rhymes. Jesus Loves Me. Curious George.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Play-doe. Finger paint. Sidewalk chalk.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

Puzzles. Hide and Seek. Hopscotch.

You bring me back. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

There is such a wonder. Such a magical freedom. I love going back with you.

I love watching it all through your eyes. Safe, shiny and new. It makes life feel lighter. It renews my faith in …

Everything. This is a gift. I’ll go with you. Back to free. Back to simple. Back to childhood.

I See Strength

There are so many facets that make up one’s personality. It’s hard to really know someone, truly, at times. It’s easy to make a quick judgement. But, by doing so, you may miss most of what makes someone who they are. Sometimes, you have to look twice.

This weekend, a friend casually said, “Your son is a really good-looking kid, but he’s kind of a wimp, you know. I mean, he’s a wimp.”  Oh. Gee. Seriously? Tell me how you really feel. I dismissed it immediately — because of who it was coming from, because of his personality and his habit of saying, well, just about anything. I brushed it off, saying, “Shut up. No, he isn’t.” And, that was that. I didn’t think about it again. Until today. Today, it’s on my heart. Today, I feel a little more protective. Today, I feel MORE about it. I know it was a harmless comment. I’m not mad. Just – a little pensive. Is he right? Am I raising a wimp?

Nope. No. I’m not. N isn’t a wimp. He’s a lot of things, but that’s not one of them. And, if it were, that would be okay too. But, it’s not. I can see it though, what our friend sees when observing my child. He’s not around him often. He hasn’t gotten to know him. It’s not his fault. N isn’t quick to open up. So, he sees a quiet boy. He sees a boy that isn’t playing with the other kids… at least, not at first. He sees a boy clinging to his momma. He sees a boy standing off to the side for a bit before jumping in to play. I can see what he sees. But, because I’m his mother, because I love him with an astounding force, because I really KNOW him, I see sooo much more. I don’t see a wimp. I see a boy who truly becomes himself around those he loves. Who saves the best parts of himself for his favorite people. I see a boy who is reserved in large groups. A boy who stands back and watches, observing, before deciding if he wants to take part. I see quiet strength. I see loyalty. I don’t see weakness. I see someone who may just be able to make decisions for himself one day. A boy who just may grow into a man that doesn’t need others to decide what’s right for him. A boy who is considerate and loving. A boy who might not give into peer pressure. Who may be okay saying no. Who may choose kindness over mean-spiritedness. I see my boy. My favorite boy.

Maybe it’s what everyone needs. Someone to SEE them. Someone to KNOW them. It feels good to be known. I feel fortunate to have quite a few people in my life that I believe truly know me. Yet, I too, can be quick to judge others at times. I can decide who I think they are. I shouldn’t. We shouldn’t. Maybe we should wait, give others the benefit of the doubt, and look a little closer. Maybe we’d SEE so much more.