Driving to Grandma's house listening to the classical radio station, with all three boys in the back of the car. The oldest, with nose in a book. The youngest, unsnapping his buckle to wiggle out of a sweaty tee-shirt. And that middle child of mine listening to the throbbing rhythm of something by Vivaldi, Lego mini-figures in his lap. I watch him in the rearview mirror throughout the first movement; his face scrunched up, intent. "If this song were a story, what would be happening right now?" I ask.
It's a familiar game and doesn't take him more than a moment to reply.
"There's this old man, all alone, dying in the desert. He hasn't had water in days and he knows the end is near. Now, right here, you hear how the music is getting so slow and sad? Well, right now he's reaching up to heaven, and the sun's beating down. He takes his last breath, and falls to the ground."
My first-born stops reading, looks up at me and smiles. He smiles the way I smile at their Dad when I see the youngest hauling branches up the hill; the way I smile when I hear him play his harmonica. All this smiling because we're knowing one another. That's what makes our ragamuffin group of individuals a family, like the intricate melodies in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Knowing one another so well.
And it's happening in your home too. With the unique personalities you call children. Waking up to their individuality; more completely who they are than who they were the day before. As they grow into their skin. And you're there watching the magic work its way out.
Of all my children, this one is the most captivating to watch. Because he's working it out in such creative ways, with scotch tape and costumes. Crying over the boxes he stacked together, so sure that when he added paint the cardboard would magically become a living robot.
But boxes are just boxes.
The problem is that this child of mine doesn't know about boxes. The kind of boxes people live inside of. The sort that confines our thinking. Those we can't step out of because we like things comfortable, predictable. But this middle-miracle I call my son, doesn't just live outside of the box... he's never known a box! And the most gorgeous part of all is that he's perfectly happy with who he is! Out of the box, creative, middle him!
My husband and I are daily growing more comfortable with who he is as well. Because for a long time we tried to fit him into the boxes our culture values. Sports. Cool clothes. Pushing him to be comfortable within the four walls of a school house, when walls are so like boxes. But we're learning together. By God's grace and our child's stubborn commitment to be who he is, we're slowly coming out of our own box to enjoy him there. The way he is. Fearfully and wonderfully made. My out of the box child. With all his glorious confident uniqueness.
Today I am wrapping up this short series on knowing our children, and hope that you've found yourself inspired to delight in the unique people God has given you, there in your home. I'm not perfect, I fail miserably as I mother these three. Often. But they are the souls I get to wake up to new mercies with each day.
I wish this blog were more than a blog, but a play-date where we could sit poolside as the children play together.
Wouldn't that be something?
Wouldn't that be something!