“No matter how much I say you I love you, I always love you more than that.” -Anonymous
Today, my Juju turned the big F-O-U-R. For some reason, out of all the birthday’s he’s had…just three by the way. This one has given the biggest squeeze out of my heart. I think it’s a mixture of knowing he’s got one more year left, before starting Kindergarten and his ability to understand and comprehend what birthdays mean made today that much more special. When I asked him how he wanted to spend his actual birthday, he told me he wanted to go to the skatepark, eat at McDonald’s for lunch, and asked me to cook his favorite Chinese dishes for dinner. The simplicity of his request and the joy that it brings him, is the very thing I love about him the most.
These are four learnings I’ve learned about my son this year.
- He’s a lover of humans. He loves being around people, seeing people, loving people. Every morning that I’m home when he wakes up, he asks me, “Who are we going to see? Whose coming over?” When we drive up to a park, he looks around for kids and squeals with delight at the sight of another human being. He’ll shout in the car, “There’s my friend!!!” Aka total, utter strangers. He goes up to them and asks, “Will you be my friend?”
- He asks a lot of questions concerning things of the heart. This fall, he asked Jesus into his heart and asked if he had to cut it open to let Jesus in. I could not stop laughing. He’s so interested in Heaven and who goes there and what will happen when we get old. Last week, he asked me if I was going to get old and die and if he was going to get old and die. I answered him truthfully because I realized in that moment, having lost my own father at nine that I wanted him to hear about death through my own words. God forbid something would happen to me early, but if it did, I want him to know how I feel about death and what he means to me. It’s the blessing of knowing my days are finite and being a mother is a gift that can easily be taken away. We live together as if today was my last day with him every single day. With his growing understanding of God, he cares to pray for those who are hurting and in need of protection even praying for characters in movies because he knew they were sad or without friends.
- He is my greatest protector and reader of tone. We have discovered this year, just how sensitive he is to people’s facial expressions and tone. He comes hurling himself at Ken, even if Ken and I aren’t mad at all. He’ll also ask a million, “What happened?” when he sees me talking to someone with a concerned face. He could be across the room, spot my face and come running over to ask what’s going on. He predicts everything in books, solely based on reading a character’s facial expression and won’t let it go until I’ve explained what’s happening. Even when he hears a song, he’ll determine if it’s a sad, scary, or happy song based on the melody.
- He is a daredevil. He loves to balance on the edge of the sofa arm and jump off. Or climb up top our family room slide and land on the sofa, after shouting, “To infinity and beyond!” He’ll go into the ocean thinking he can swim, like he can in a pool. No fear. All heart.
As the years go on, I know there will be so much more that I’ll learn about this son of mine. But here and now, all this is more than enough. I cannot wait to see how this one single human being can and will change this world into a better place.