Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Heart Gave a Start

The last time I wrote to you for real (read, "hit Publish") was February 15.  That is literally the longest stretch I haven't chatted with you since I began writing this Life Epistle three-plus years ago.  

I tried three times.  The first unpublished go is just ironic, so here it is: 

My Lewis is three years old today.  I keep being surprised when I think about how much time has passed since he joined our family.  And when I think about it, I lament the fact that I've recorded essentially zero information about his growth and development, his likes and dislikes, his endearing little habits.  
If I picked one word to describe my second son, i

I am sitting here laughing at myself.  That one word, by the way, is Sweet.  He is everything sweet.  Also fierce.  But mostly sweet.  

My second go was longer, chronicling how I was feeling at 9 weeks of pregnancy.  But I hadn't told you I was pregnant yet, and back then I was afraid to, and didn't know how to. So it stayed put in my Post list.

The most recent attempt was meant to tell you why I haven't written in so long, and to tell you that I am pregnant.  And then I just got tired of writing something long and pithy, and added this baby as a #3 in a Facebook post, to see how many of you would catch it.  A surprising number of you did!  I am flattered that you would read my paragraph post all the way through.  Thanks :0)  

And, so you don't feel like I'm completely ignoring this child (I am certainly not, but it's possible--though I hope against it--that I'll record less than "essentially zero information" about my last Baby) is a picture of my baby bump, taken almost three weeks ago at about 14 weeks along:

So there's a snapshot of What I Didn't Tell You, the reStart of my Heart.  And now for last night's heart-starting thoughts...

Yesterday Lewis had to learn about consequences.  Obviously, he's dealt with consequences before, but last night was kind of a biggie.  While the rest of us were downstairs, he wrestled with the easel in their bedroom so he could get into the game closet.  He toppled that over in a crash--no biggie, nobody was hurt.  But when I went up and got him freshly bathed, and freshly 'jama-ed, and it was time to clean up the room, we began to have a problem.  You see, he asks for help with the cleanup of all messes.  So I helped him by cleaning up all the game pieces he had gotten out, the wooden animals he had set up, the various toys scattered about, by uprighting the easel, by (finally) putting away the stacks of clean laundry all over the room.  His job?  To pick up the crayon pieces that had spilled out of the easel.  Would have taken him 5 minutes, tops.  

But he has this thing where he just refuses to start a job, because it's so daunting to him. I explained how I had helped him, by doing EVERYTHING ELSE.  And that if he chose not to clean up those crayons, I would not read him any bedtime stories.  He had already had his mouth washed with soap earlier in the day for flat-out telling me "no" over and over for the thing I had asked of him, and we had had issues with getting bath time started. It wasn't like I was pulling out the Big Guns of No Stories Tonight for a first-level offense. 

Well, not only did he refuse to put the crayons away, but while I was focused on getting shirts in the shirt drawer, he decided to draw a purple picture all over the carpet.  

So that was that.  And sticking to that consequence was a bitter pill for him to swallow, and a hard thing for mama to stick to.  It's heart-breaking to listen to your child deal with the sorrow of a bad consequence.  But learn that his choices matter?  He must.  Sigh.  

Here's my Lewis in a happier frame of mind, just so you can agree with me over how cute he is. 

And then, after things had settled down a bit, I moved across the room to say prayers with Lincoln.  I was so, so proud of him last night, because the pieces clicked into gear and he figured out how to ride his bike without daddy to hold onto him.  He has training wheels, but I mean, this kid was so nervous about tipping over that wouldn't let Andy let go of his jacket, and his "fast" speed was a Lewis-paced walking speed, and he really hadn't gotten the hang of pedaling.  So when, last night, he had a breakthrough and was suddenly bicycling around Continental Circle, then down to the end of Markham Street and back, with Andy often needing to run to keep up with him?  Yep, proud mama.  Here's my bike-riding champ.

So my heart was full with thinking of my son's accomplishment.  And then, I don't know, I just kept thinking as I prayed for him, about the fact that this week, he proudly announced that he knows how to spell "fox," and promptly sounded it out and spelled it for me.  He's going to be reading before long, and a whole new magical world will be his to discover.  About the fact that he's already a little gamer, playing almost-nightly rounds of Minecraft or Warcraft with Andy.  About the fact that he stunned me last evening, also, by suddenly being able to make most of his shots into the Little Tykes basketball hoop, with a pretty natural-looking shot.  He must get that from daddy.  About the fact that he's begun asking if we can invite his school friends over to play, almost daily desiring their company.  About the fact that when I bring him a gift of a pine cone from Beaver Camp, he isn't enamored with it the way he used to be, not very long ago.  About the fact that my boy is growing up.  Fast.  

The tears were running down my face as I prayed.  Fortunately, I was whispering that prayer, so I didn't need to struggle with frog-voice.  And I don't think he noticed the tear tracks when he kissed my cheek.  

But my heart gave a start to ponder such things.  It was a little, treasured Mary Moment: "But Mary treasured up all these things (all these mysterious, miraculous things that already surrounded her baby son) and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:19