It's a little scary when your firstborn turns five. That age seems kind of old! I feel like I should’ve taught him so much more, that I should’ve grown in so much more maturity as a mom by now. But God is gracious and this kid is a major gift, so overall I am blown away by who he is and how God has changed me through him. Here are some of my favorite things about my boy!
-He is easily the most tender and compassionate person in our family. If he can tell I’m a bit stressed out, he will say “I’m sorry this is a hard day for you, Mommy.”
-He is humble and repentant. If he does something wrong, he works hard until he makes it right.
-He is truly funny. He hasn’t figured out how knock-knock jokes work, but a lot of times he says things that are so witty I’m utterly taken aback. Though there's plenty of typical-5-year-old-silliness, Stephen is working on a high-quality sense of humor. When his sisters burp or do a toot, most of the time he doesn't respond and just politely pretends it didn't happen. Just to be safe, though, I can never show him a movie like Minions, ha!
onl-He really listens, comprehends, and remembers. Anytime he’s in the workshop with Peter, he comes back telling me exactly what he did and how the machines work and it's so technical that I only understand about 10% of it. When I’m teaching him truth from God’s Word, he’s always asking questions or giving supplemental examples. He just gets it. It’s not like we’re excellent communicators or that we've passed on brainiac genes, because we get a lot of blank stares from the other kids, and that’s okay. Stephen is just naturally a philosopher.
-He knows when someone needs a hug and he gives it. If I'm feeling tired or sick, he loves to rub my head and play music for me until he's convinced I'm asleep. I think part of that, though, is he's trying to get rid of me, because he is constantly insisting I take a nap.
-He’s the king of inventory. If we lose something, he can almost always find it. (That’s probably because he’s the one who had a special plan for the item and hid it somewhere. This has happened with wallets, glasses, laptop chargers, etc.)
-If we lose something and even he can’t find it, he literally stops and asks God to help us find it. He has such a robust theology of God's sovereignty that he knows God knows its location and it's pointless to find something apart from Him. I do not have faith like that.
-He is a fairly extreme introvert, but seeing him grow in bravery this past year has been incredible. It takes guts for a shy kid to look an adult cashier in the eye and say “thank you,” but he is learning to do it even when he feels scared. That is strength, and I admire him for it.
-I love how he loves to match. He always wakes up with an agenda for the day, and he dresses for the occasion with much intentionality. If he wants to be an army guy, he will wear a camo shirt, camo pants, and camo underwear. If he wants to be a superhero, he will wear a Spider-man shirt, matching pants, and Spider-man underwear. Even the unseen details are important to him.
-He has the hope of heaven seared onto his heart. Whether he's hearing about hurting people or a discouraging political situation, he's always talking or singing about the peace and glory to come when Jesus returns and "makes all things new." He loves the reality that there will be no more suffering and only joy, and I'm grateful he reminds me of it.
-I love how he cleans his room. Though he’s inherited my I-hate-cleaning gene, he really applies himself when he actually tidies. He sets out a blanket at his front door as a welcome mat. He hangs clothes and backpacks off any knobs or hangers he can find. He makes the bed beautifully. And he is so proud when he presents his room to me at the end.
-He still prays for ISIS every single day. I think he started this about two years ago and continues to faithfully ask God to change their hearts.
-He treasures his sisters so much. He talks sweetly with them, he comforts them, he tells them what he perceives to be correct math and word pronunciation...he truly cares for their hearts and helps them become better young women. If one of his sisters is crying or whining in the car, he will say something like "I know what that's like because I used to do the same thing...but there's a better way." And his sister will listen to him! When he's gently counseling his sisters, he often knows what to say better than I do!
-I love how he loves to cook. He loves to get out his cutting board and butter knife and make fruit kebabs or special mixtures of various foods. He'll proudly announce, "I'm making Chef Stephen's Best Fruit Salad!", which consists of apples, bananas, and bits of whole wheat bread. I asked him to cater a party and he took it very seriously.
-I love how he is always pondering, always processing. We'll be driving in the car and he'll ask a question like "So does the sun reflect off the moon or does the moon reflect off the sun?" I've definitely become much smarter just trying to keep up with him, ha!
-He's shockingly self-sacrificing. He's one of the most loose-fisted people I know. One time we were leaving Costco, and as soon as he found out it was raining, he immediately removed his jacket and covered Piper with it. I dream of the kind of servant-leader husband he might be for his future wife someday, Lord willing.
-He loves to tease. (You can probably tell this by how silly so many of his pictures are!) Though he can be very serious and has quite weighty matters on his mind oftentimes, he's also lighthearted and enjoys poking fun in the way that makes others feel loved.
-I love how he respects the privacy of others. If he walks in on someone using the restroom or changing clothes, he immediately squints his eyes shut and rushes out of the room. So much modesty and character on that kid.
-I love his skills on the ATV. (I don't love that he's on an ATV, but I do love that he has so much control over the vehicle and some pretty impressive skills on that thing!)
-He has such an awesome entrepreneurial spirit. Whatever his business, he throws himself into his work and tries to give his customers the best experience possible. I ended up wayyy over-tipping him on my foot massages because he was giving me a blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, snack, water, book, music, and more...and he was hiring his sister and paying her generously. He painted his own business cards for his leaf raking business and is constantly trying to sell his artwork to family members and offering them "a special price" such as 2-for-1's or "75 cents today only."
-I love how beautiful he is. He's just a gorgeous child. A genetic marvel, given the brown-eyedness of his parents.
-I love putting him to bed each night. He usually sings me a song he made up, and they're quite amusing if not profoundly theological. He asks incredible questions and he's always making me think.
There is so much more I could say about this precious child, but I'm getting a bit emotional and I'm thiiiiis close to going to his room and waking him up to hang out with me even though it's 1 am as I write. There is still so much room for growth in his character and most of all in my parenting, but I'm so grateful to walk this road with him and be his mama. He is an amazing little person with a huge heart and a brilliant mind.
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
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Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today