This little guy:
... has been having a hard time lately.
He's taken to a few little traits that it takes every ounce of our self-control to not laugh at. One is putting his head in his hands. Usually in exasperation but often he'll peek out from his fingers to check and see if we're buying it. Another is pointing at something he wants, like his bottle that he is constantly dropping, grunting dramatically and then sighing resignedly in defeat. Note that he doesn't bother to stoop down and pick up the pined-for item.
These sound like little things I realize but please, multiply them by ten thousand and that will give you and idea of what half an hour is like around here.
It occurred to me though that it is awfully hard to be little. There's a whole big scary world out there that hurts us all too often and when we're little it just seems all the more bigger and scarier.
Easter week my sweet little church paired up with a "high" church to do Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. We might be about as "low" church as you can get but our building is a bit bigger so they tolerate us for the space I think. We try our best not to bump around too much and stand up and say the recitations that are lovingly displayed on a huge screen for us.
For the Thursday service there is a foot-washing part towards the end. Our pastor cracked open his heart and shared deeply about service and a time when some dear people washed his feet at a trying time.
So there we were. The two of us. His daddy off away at a weekend retreat and his older sister happily watching way too much PBS because as I just said, her daddy was off away at a weekend retreat.
I had hoisted him up on the counter top while I fixed a bottle and there before me were my little boy's dirty feet. I washed them and he happily let me. Like Peter he stuck out his hands to be washed as well. Lord help me, I have a child like Peter.
There was a brief moment there, while I ran the water over his heels and he giggled I chose to be in the moment for once. I prayed a few words over him and he looked up at me and held his hands up like "and?"
I still worry I exasperate him too much and play with him too little. That my fear of not being a good "boy" mom parent translates to reality as I don't take little moments like this with him often enough. Though one of my favorite things in the world is a lazy Saturday morning where CJ and I can cuddle on the couch while he has his morning bottle and I have my coffee. This long weekend will be like three Saturdays in a row.
Three chances to snuggle. To cup his little face and kiss his chubby cheeks. To spend time with him and let him be a boy. Hopefully next time he tries to hand me a worm I won't squeal and drop it. Hopefully I'll take it gladly and then patiently help him feed it to the lizard.
Because maybe part of why he's been having a hard time is his momma is having a hard time. So maybe just maybe I can scrounge up some grace for him, and for me.
So I will give thanks for this little guy whom I dearly love and am doing my best to love better.
-For his chubby cheeks that need to be kissed
-For the blonde curl he has in the back that I refuse to cut
-For that twinkle he gets in his baby blues when he is up to something.
-For that infectious laugh that is richest when his tummy is being spuzzed.
-For the way he settles into my lap, content just to be.