Each day I watch my boys grow, I am so grateful for them. I can easily get caught up in the battle-du-jour with them and find myself frazzled and frustrated. But as they get older, their sweetness is beginning to shine more and more frequently. They are their daddy’s sons; sweet, charming, funny and thoughtful.
When Cooper, our eldest was born, I started a little journal for him. I did the same when Chase came along. I don’t write in them nearly as often as I used to or still want to in my heart and in my head. I keep them by my bed just in case though. This blog has taken a lot of that away, but it’s all right with me. I still enjoy looking up past stories in both places.
Lately, Cooper’s compassion and thoughtfulness has especially begun to blossom. Two days ago, Cooper alerted me to the carpet in his bedroom and how dirty it was. I don’t hang out in there often so I hadn’t noticed all the dried mud (courtesy of the lovely spring-like weather we’re having) speckling the floor. I told him that I would be happy to get in there and vacuum if he would kindly put his toys away so I could get to the dirt. It was late when we had that original conversation. It wasn’t actually until the next afternoon after school that he reminded me of the mess and I reminded him what needed to be done so I could fix it. He happily complied and even brought me in to show me how great he had done. I thanked him and told him he could go do whatever it was he had asked to do next and I let him know I would clean the carpet. The next thing I know I hear grunting and a chunking-sort-of sound on the stairs. I walk over to see Cooper, in all his 6-year-old strength, wrestling the big vacuum cleaner up the stairs from the basement for me. I didn’t ask him to get it, he just thought he would do it for me.
Of course, my heart completely melted at that point. I kissed and hugged him and thanked him for such thoughtfulness. (It is a pain to hike up those stairs 6 months pregnant carrying a vacuum!)
While I deeply enjoy reaping the rewards of such a sweet heart, the best part is that Chase, his little brother, is watching and imitating his brother. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! For a while I was beginning to think he’d be permanently crabby. He has begun to show compassion for others when they are hurt or sick, he is beginning to celebrate other people’s accomplishments and encourage them when something is difficult. He is even beginning to apologize when he sees me very upset with him. It’s hard to stay mad at giant downcast brown eyes, chubby cheeks, fluffy, perfect curls and little lips puckered in an apology.
Chase has been notorious for withholding kisses and hugs. He’s not one to hand them out freely. But lately, he has been hugging and kissing us and telling us he loves us completely of his own volition. It’s down right melty when he’s been so stingy about them in the past!
Best of all, the boys have been very kind and loving towards one another. Jeremy and I believe that the only way to have children who have good relationships with their siblings is to teach them HOW to do that. Meaning, in our home it is not ok to be mean to one another, it is not ok to yell at each other, it is not ok to call each other names, absolutely under no circumstances do we hit one another, we stick up for one another, we look out for one another, we give, we share, we love!
I think those traits are just graven in Cooper’s heart. But Chase has had a rough go with that sort of stuff. It’s finally turning around and the result is making Jeremy and I so crazy in love with them! Chase eagerly awaits his brother’s return from school each day. But at the beginning of the school year he couldn’t wait to get rid of him and was awful to him when he got home. Now he talks about his brother all day long and follows him like a shadow for the remainder of the night. Chase insists on sitting next to his brother at dinner and has a huge fit if we don’t allow it.
All of these things make my mommy heart glow. I’m so excited to welcome a little girl into a place where love and fun are present. I think her brothers will love her madly. I know it’ll change our family dynamics, but I think it’ll make us all the more loving and fun.
Sometimes, being a grown up really stinks. But watching children grow and being a part of this family make me feel like my home is a sanctuary, like our family is something very special and like God has really blessed us. It’s just easier to go out into the world when you have a place like that to call home and to always come back to for refreshment.