Parenting is…so much. I’m not sure how to describe it sometimes because words feel so inadequate. But tonight I felt sad, because I let Josiah go to bed without fully reconciling and as I sat on his bed just now, petting his head as he slept I realized how thankful I am to have this precious boy as my first born son.
It was something silly tonight- he wanted another snack after bedtime- and I wanted to be alone. I yelled loudly for him to come down and even one pitch above normal makes him cringe so as he walked into the room I knew I had crushed his little heart. I said I was sorry, but didn’t fully mean it; got him another snack and sent him back to bed with a rushed ‘i love you, go to bed’ exit.
An hour later it hit me. I needed to truly repent and hug my son. But it was beautiful because I realized I am learning to respond so much quicker than I used to. This young child, just five years old, is teaching me tenderness better than any person ever has. He gives kindness without thinking twice, he shows me patience when I have none left… he truly loves so well. I used to hold onto grudges and my pride so much longer. I’m growing. What a gift from Jesus. I am just so grateful for my sweet tender boy, a living breathing example right in front of my face every single day.
On the way home from school today, he was eating a mini bag of skittles he had earned in class and out of the blue he said that he was saving two lemons (my favorite) for me because I was a good mom. I was touched then, but as I sit in my tears tonight, I see how Jesus is speaking so clearly to me.
I’m gonna fail a lot as a parent. I’m human. I’m selfish. I’m prideful. But God is kind enough to use just about anything to sanctify me, to humble me, and to build me back up- in His likeness. And He calls us into who we become. My sweet boy has been like my very own personal tenderizer. One of the meanings of the name Josiah is “Jehovah Heals”, and what beautiful healing has come to my heart through his gentle ways over the last five years.
I wrote his lunch box note tonight that included the sentence: thanks for being kind even when I’m not. It hurt to write but I don’t want to shy away from calling my kids into who they are, in spite of my many shortcomings. God is already hard at work in my son’s life and I marvel at what He’s chipping away in mine along the way.
[Josiah- I’m guessing you’ll read this one day- and I want you to know. I love you with all my heart and I’m so so so thankful you are my son. Being your mom is one of the greatest joys of my life and I can’t wait to see what your journey holds. At five years old you’ve shown me God’s heart more often that I can count…don’t ever forget…His kindness in you can move mountains.]