Eight is kinda old. But only kinda. Traces of little mingling with shadows of older. I watch him swing between those worlds, sometimes with joyful abandon, sometimes the struggle of a soul trying to grow and stretch and realizing its own brokenness.
He’s not much for talking. Not really. More doing, less talking. But once in awhile, I’ll notice him suddenly beside me, lingering, and I know his heart has something to spill. Even if it’s just to tell me about the great book he just finished. Some things need to be heard by another human, and I’m happy to be his go-to hearer.
Pushing him forward to new capacities for thinking, working, diligence, creativity, servanthood. Wanting to see the flame of love for Jesus grow into a blazing passion as he grows. Teaching him to study the Word a bit deeper, to ask questions, to watch rubber meet road and Jesus be enough.
Loving his freckles, fast multiplying across his little boy cheeks. His crinkly eyes when he smiles, which is often. What joy he brings! His eyes dart constantly, as he thinks, thinks, thinks. Never sit still. Not really. Even when he sits, his brain is moving. His front teeth are oversized, just as they should be on a lanky, Norman-Rockwell boy. He loves baseball, football. But kickball with me is best. We laugh, and it warms my soul. (I need to laugh more. He needs me to laugh more.) He plays piano. He would blow right through, never fixing a note, if I wasn’t calling from the kitchen. He’s a fast learner, which means working to learn is something he has to learn. Drumsticks are his new best friend. Everywhere he goes, they go. He has rhythm in his body, all the time.
Learning to love people, even more than his own ideas. Being an oldest brother brings that out in him, sometimes with more effort than others. But his siblings love him completely. William is his best friend. They forgive instantly. I can’t believe how strong and pure that love is.
This boy. I just really love him.
Celebrating his birthday with Dutch Babies, playtime with siblings, adventures in the woods with two friends, and dinner with Grandpa, his birthday buddy.
He’s a keeper.