It has been a battle of the heart – That I’ve seen growing over the last several years. Shifting from the Battle of the Youngest – to the Battle of the Middle. When a little child – has a very large heart – very talented physical abilities and a quick wit – it comes with the opposites – of a heart that thinks of himself – of the desire to show off his skills – and of a very strong will. Desires – strong – and clear – and passionate.
I would pray – How Lord? How am I to respond – be your instrument to mold this fearless little one? His answer? Mercy. Grace. Time. Bring it back to the Word. Show each time – how his childish thoughts match up to My Wisdom, and let him decide the next step. The crazy part is – this was the Word impressed on me since this little outgoing fellah was 2 years old being kicked out of Sunday School Pre-School classes.
And so far – it has worked. I know his heart. Other people on the outside have commented that I need control his mind and flesh with a little more physical and verbal punishments. We take our chats at home, often reading, cuddled up on the futon or on top of my California King – talking through the day – referring to The Word- chatting of how a frustrating situation could have played out differently. And I see – his changes – his growth.
He has moved from being the youngest in the crowd to the battle of the middle. Now it is his own brother who is 6 feet tall – able to have the privileges and responsibilities of going off on his own, given the freedom to hang out with friends his own age by themselves, able to go farther, speak more, do more. And it is not just the privilege of “doing” but the accomplishments of his mind – the ability to think with a bit more clarity (as much as a 13 yr old boy can) – to have the ability to think through steps to solve problems when assembling a new gadget, programing a new electronic – fixing something around the house.
So the battle – I see in my youngest – is his own knowing that he does not fit in/ belong to the older groups of boys and girls – but not wanting to be “stuck” with the “babies”. (Even if said toddlers are 8 and 9). Wanting to be seen and appreciated for his own wisdom, courage, silliness and great ideas – how will that ever happen while being forced to stay with the kindergarteners?
Which brings me to my post today – (was that not the longest intro ever?) We had some company this weekend – I REALLY needed a whole day with two great homeschooling blogging moms – and their 5 children – The older two wanted time to explore – and the younger two really couldn’t be left alone with all of the water danger around. Jon fought it in the morning – by leaving. Then sulked a bit through the afternoon while taking on some sort of bad policeman type role – than then almost having a fit at dinner when the oldest two were allowed to wander the tourist town by themselves for a bit –
When it finally clicked for him. He could step into the role that those boys he has known have always filled. The “tour guide” of sorts. It is hard – verbally – to describe the transition that took place on this evening at the marina – where you could physically see his features and heart changing. The realization that he wouldn’t have to “stay with the little kids” and moms, if he, himself , stepped up, and became his own “big kid”. He figured out that if he took interest and care for the youngest, showing him his world – that he’d have more freedom – for 3 hours – he walked this young man around, by the hand, catching moon jelly fish, sitting at the edge, hopping over ropes, touching boats, discovering fish and birds, eating candy –dancing and joking.
He was upset as we were separating to go home – and thanked me with a huge sincere speech of how much he was glad he got to spend the evening with his friends – and yesterday –asking when they would come back – was delighted that it would be very soon.
Still – no words to describe the peace and joy in my heart – watching this young boy – grow into a young man – knowing his Heavenly Father has His eye and hand on him. It’s when you start to let go of yourself – and look to the interests of others – putting them first – and – in serving them – you find your own needs served – I am sure days will continue that require another batch of mercy and grace – but I just wanted to share this milestone with you – encourage you with your pre-teen- not-babies- courageous self thinking young men.
(All photos property of Cori at Wonder in the Woods – you might want to see her amazing photos from her new PEN camera and see our day played out! – http://wonderinthewoods.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/newport-bay/)