My little Cooper has the most beautiful heart. As he grows up, I look at him and I thank God for the pureness of this child. He is so innocent, so sweet, so tender and funny. I love watching him with his friends and seeing him walk around in what I can only describe as light. He is a little light.
This past weekend we were pretty busy. On Friday my good friend Laura came over to spend the afternoon with me and the boys. We had lunch and sat outside with some cold bevys talking and playing with Cooper (Chase was napping). Then afterwards we went to a nursery and got some plants, went to the park to play and explore, then stopped at McDonald’s for some chocolate milkshakes. We came home and Laura decided it was time for her to head back home too.
All the little kids in the neighborhood (who strangely are all boys) were outside playing. When they saw my boys out there they all came running to our house. (I love that.) Before I knew it, parents were gathered around, hanging out and talking while the boys all ran around us with scooters, bicycles, tricyles, basketballs and various other bouncy balls. It was a total blast!
Dinner time rolled around and I threw something quick together to feed the boys. I could tell they were both fading and were tired. We got cleaned up and started baths. I pulled one out of the Mommy Handbag and made the water nice and warm. Their little cheeks got red and they both sat quietly playing with toys. The tiredness finally hit them.
Chase was the first to request to get out and go to bed, then Cooper quickly followed. I helped Chase get ready for bed while Coop got himself ready. When I had finished up with Chase I went into Cooper’s room to check on his progress.
As I walked in I saw him struggling to get his damp body into his night shirt. He pulled it over his head and did a little shimmy to get his clothes adjusted and that’s when I noticed it; his bottom lip was trembling and his eyes had welled up with tears. He did his best to hold back those tears and squeaked out the words, “Mommy, I have to tell you sump-fin”. I was a little worried at first so I knelt down and put my hand on his shoulder saying, “what’s the matter honey?” He tried again to hold back his sobs by biting his lower lip, sucking in some air and holding his head back a little so the tears wouldn’t roll. He burst out to me, “Mommy, I don’t want to grow up because if I do, then I would have to move away from you guys!” and he threw his arms around me and exploded into tears and sobs.
By this time, I’m quietly cracking up with laughter. I’m pretty sure my heart went right out of my chest and hovered somewhere near the clouds in the evening sky. I squeezed his little body, rubbed his back and just drank in that moment.
I held him out in front of me and smiled at him and said, “Cooper, you don’t have to grow up if you don’t want to.” He said, “But what if it happens anyway and I do grow up?” and he sobbed and sniffled. I laughed and said, “well, then we’ll just have to buy the house next door so you can live there, won’t we?” and I laughed again. “Cooper, I want you to know something. Mommy and Daddy will want you forever. We will never ask you to leave. You do not have to leave this house until you are ready and that is a long way away. We will always want you.”
This seemed to satisfy his heart and we just sat there hugging and squeezing while his tears dried up and he pulled in his sniffles.
This little talk was so sweet to my heart after a long day of having my ear talked off by the boy. At dinner time, all I wanted to do was tell him to please shut up and eat! HA! It’s so funny how as Moms we can’t wait to hear our children talk, then we just wish they’d stop when they are 4 and 5. It saddens my heart to think that Cooper will ever stop talking to me though. I’ve heard that in the teenage years the constant talking of childhood really dries up. No wonder Mommies are worried about teenage boys and how quiet they are.
I remember thinking when we were in those first stages of parenthood with Cooper that I want to give my children the most amazing childhood. I want them to live a life so full of love that it just spills out all over the place. I want them to remember it as adults because it was so much fun for them. I want them to want to leave home eventually, but I want the desire to be balanced with a deep love for what home has always meant for them. I don’t want them to leave saying, “thank God I’m outta THAT place!”. I want them to leave saying, “I can’t wait to come home again soon!” I want to give them a model to live by so that when they are parents, their wives roll their eyes every time they hear my boys talk about how amazing their childhood was and how they want to give that to my grandbabies.
After today, I feel like we might just be on track for that. Ah….to have a heart like this child. Jesus, thank you for my boy who loves you and loves life. He is vivacious, curious, cheerful, loving and kind and he is a gift to us. I pray we honor the gift and learn to reflect a heart like his. You’ve told us that Your Kingdom is like them. And if that’s the case, then I got a precious glimpse of it today. I can’t wait to be there Lord if this is really what it is like. Amen.
1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf[a]is welcoming me. 6 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
7 “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. 8 So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.[b]
10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.[c