this past weekend was my favorite sort: one part blustery wind, three parts sun, some stripey-sock dancing and the making of things. there may or may not have been a child who dedicated the whole of his day to Disregarding The Parental Units, but such is our current modus operandi, and it doesn't quite ruffle up our feathers like before.
the learning curve's been steep these last eight months, and it comes at such a funny time: i've been mothering a passel of kidlets for years and thought i'd had things pretty well managed. but now we've this crash course in Forbearance and Creative Thinking and it's stretching me spaghetti-thin and most everything about it is hard and unglamorous, but i suspect it's also spiking personal growth in places that could stand some blossoming.
also, my prayer life has taken on new fervor.
before we brought our youngest into our family, i'd gripped this notion that raising up children is a fairly straight-forward enterprise: you're kind and consistent, you love them up tall, you communicate expectations, you help them meet Jesus and you teach them to value each other. water and weed and let God do his growing thing, and presto: a bushel of upstanding citizens. but our smallest boy is teaching us that we can do our part as parents, we can love him and give him opportunities to cooperate and the tools to make healthy choices, but the actual choosing and cooperating is largely up to him. (and God. and those miracles up His sleeve.)
which means that some days i proffer cooperative chances from sunup to sundown, and he flatly rejects every single one (plus usually a bunch of chances i didn't even extend). no question, these are exhausting times. but they don't have to be defeating.
and last night just as he was on the cusp of sleep, i slipped in and kissed his temple and sniffed him up good, all that honeyed soap and skin. he smells like my kid. it's a mighty nice smell. and i'm thinking that given enough time and chances, there will come a day when i'll walk into a room and he'll catch that scent of mom.