Thursday, August 18, 2016

Loving My Thing 1

How can "pig headed" be a good character trait, Mommy?
You asked me that question a while back after a discussion about how God can use all the the aspects of our personalities to glorify him, how even the parts of ourselves that seem bad can have a positive flip side. I'm afraid that lately you've been hearing words like "stubborn," "bossy," "mouthy," and "argumentative" roll off my tongue a little too often.

I want to assure you, son, that every character trait has both a positive and a negative. I pray that I can help you find those positives for the labels that we have put on you. I am sorry for the times you hear yourself described in words that paint you in a bad way.

You are resolute, steadfast, and loyal. You are determined. You set your mind to something and are confident in your decision and not easily swayed. I know that one day these characteristics will be useful for you as you stand up against injustice in the world or have to defend your decisions and beliefs against those who disagree. I will look back on all those times you refused to back down on your opinion, and I will smile, knowing that God was preparing you.
You have leadership potential and goals. You are the first born in our family, if only by 5 minutes. You are the biggest and the tallest, if only by 3 pounds and 1 inch. You recognize a certain responsibility that goes along with that role, and you are eager to take up the mantle. You make me so proud when I hear you talk about your dream of running your own zoo one day, and that you know you may well have to start out shoveling elephant poop to get there. You are willing to start at the bottom in order to reach your dream. Never give up.
You are the perfect balance of fun-loving and cautious. You know what you like and will not be persuaded by peer pressure to do something you are uncomfortable with. I hope and pray that you continue to develop in this way. That you can still enjoy yourself and have fun, but are confident enough that you hold to the boundaries you have drawn for yourself. No matter how much pressure you may have received, you stuck to your guns that you were not ready to ride the Iron Dragon this year. I applaud you, N. That takes strength.
You love cuddling. And coziness. And all things soft and warm. I am sorry for the times I have hurt your feelings by wanting a little space and not being in the mood for snuggles. One day you may stop asking, and I will miss those moments tremendously. This is a soft side of you that I love and want to nurture more.
Your most prized possession is your Yellow, whom you have slept with since your infancy. When I asked you why he is so special to you, your response was that he is old and it's important to take care of old things. That took my breath away, boy. May you always cherish the old things. Learn from the histories of people. Find the beauty and value in the ancient.
 You surprised me this summer by wanting to learn to fish. You like the quiet of it. The sport of catching. The observation of the creatures. And you were content to sit there and hold that pole until we could figure out a way to release that darn fish without killing it. You held your breath while we removed the hooks to make sure that each little bluegill was not going to suffocate. It was neat to watch you experience this new thing, and I look forward to standing by your side as you grow and learn how to be a man.
Your heart for the animal kingdom is so big. You love the cuddly and the ferocious, the playful and the lazy, and you see the beauty in creatures that most of us find scary or gross. You find something wonderful in each of them. And it brings me such joy to hear you talk about them. You teach me new things every day. I wish that we all could see the beauty in bats and scorpions the way you do.
You are a fun-loving Wild Thing. You add silly to my life. Your smile and your laugh are some of the best things. Thank you for being uniquely you. I love you, you stubborn, cuddly, animal-loving, crazy boy.

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