We are long, long — dare I say shamefully — overdue for a Jameson post.
He’s been dabbling with the idea of walking for quite a few weeks. Every once in awhile he’d be standing at the couch with the desire to move to the ottoman, and I could tell he was gauging the distance, calculating the number of steps, deciding if it was worth the risk… Yesterday there was a change. There was no calculation, and he was setting off toward a wide empty space, no ottoman in sight. Of course, he only goes 4-6 steps before falling to the ground, but he seems content with that. How amazing it is to see him turn from the couch and just start walking.
He chatters. My, does he chatter. No distinct words yet, but more and more sounds and tones and obvious attempts at conversation. My favorite is the sweet, high voice he uses when standing inches from a forbidden object. He still thinks he can sweet-talk me. Well, maybe he can.
He’s been initiating games. Yesterday while baking, I heard him busily crawling around the floor, and when I looked, realized he had a spool of thread and was tossing it as far as his uncoordinated arm could, and then would gleefully go fetch it. I knelt down and he quickly included me in his little game of catch — which grew to include a belly laugh every time he managed to toss the spool in my direction.
This morning we came out to the kitchen early, and I turned on a classical CD. As the strings soared (and he loves when I play “air” violin with music), I took one of his little baby hands and began dancing. He quickly caught on, flashed me his charming “insider” smile, and mimicked everything I did — swaying, waving our arms, bowing. So cute!
Of course, this age of discovery, which is happening at breakneck speeds, does not come without its bumps and bruises. Besides the pesky business of learning that Mama does not allow fits or tantrums or anything remotely similar, there are also the spills and tumbles of figuring out laws of gravity and such. Last evening Jameson got his first bloody lip when he fell backwards (??), and in the wee hours of the morning, he fell off the bed. (Oh dear. Don’t I feel awful.) So he’s a bit red and puffy here and there, but what’s a bruise when you’re a one year old with the world to discover?
And me? Well, I’m busy trying to grasp this sudden transformation that’s occurring before my eyes — although I’m also amazed, again, at the instincts that kick in, that suddenly just know that my baby is old enough to understand when I say, “No more crying.” Instincts aside, I’ll confess to being overwhelmed by the task before me of mothering this little person. Suddenly he needs so much more than just to be nursed and cooed to…and this is only the beginning!
But that’s where the “grace moments” come in. You know — the moments when you remember again that actually, YOU can’t do any of this without the help of the Holy Spirit. And, amazingly enough, you can do all this with His help.
The other day my grace moment came in the realization that God gave Jameson to Ryan and me on purpose. (Why? Oh, why, why? Didn’t He know that we’ve never been parents before??) My mom used to say that all the time in conversation with other moms: “I would tell my kids, ‘That’s great that Susie’s mom lets her do that. But God didn’t give you to Susie’s mom, He gave you to me, and this is how I do things.’ ” Moral of story: God gives certain kids to certain parents on purpose, for His purpose.
Of course, that made sense with my parents. I mean, my only question was why didn’t God give all of the kids to my parents? They’re wonderful and awesome and amazing and wow, I loved being their kid.
But us? How would we ever be wonderful and awesome and amazing parents? I mean, we don’t know what we’re doing!!
And the grace moment was when I realized that we won’t be wonderful and awesome and amazing like my parents were. We’ll be wonderful and awesome and amazing the way God wants us to be. It won’t be the same. If we were going to be identical, God might as well have had the stork deliver Jameson to 46 Main St (or whatever the address is these days!) No, He wants Jameson to be raised in our house. He wants us to learn together how to be a wonderful family, a symbol of hope and light and love in the midst of a dark and evil world. And yeah, we’re not there yet. It has yet to be seen what our amazing parenting will look like. And if I only look within for the potential to be an awesome mother, then chances are, I’ll come away discouraged.
But when I remember that it’s by grace, that it’s only with Him — that it’s less of me, more of Him — I can see the potential for us to shine brightly, to show forth the radiance of Him, to reflect the glory of love amazing and grace divine. I remember that in His hands, not much of anything becomes enough to feed the starving world.
Lord, let our home, our family, be the site of a miracle: mere people transformed into the image of Your Son; people with a bent towards strife and selfishness bonded together with love and kindness. Take our fumbling hands and teach them to shape arrows, destined for far-away places in time and space. Take our lacking hearts and make them wells of Living Water, ready to pour into the little hearts You give us. In our weakness — glory.