Friday, August 15, 2014

Becoming

This is the last weekday of summer. I'm having trouble getting started.

JT and I have been up later than usual lately, drinking tea and trying to squeeze in all the Downton Abbey episodes during our free trial of Amazon instant streaming.

The Dude was up 3 times last night, worrying about spiders and other 3 year old problems. Greystoke was up twice to eat, which is normal for a 3 month old, but rare for him. He actually set an 11 hour-in-a-row sleep a couple nights ago. The Dude was wide awake by 6 am, asking for corn for breakfast.He settled for a bagel with cream cheese, but waited until I was done preparing it to tell me, in an ear splitting scream, that he doesn't like cream cheese anymore.

Things are winding down and speeding up all at the same time. I've pretty much given up on more than just the bare minimum of housework for this week.The refrigerator is clean for grocery day, and most of the laundry is done, that will have to be enough.

Yesterday The Dude went to meet his preschool teacher and see his classroom. He was pleased. I think Monday dropoff will still be interesting, but hopefully not quite as dramatic now that he is more familiar with it.

 also think he is going to love it after the adjustment period. And I definitely think he needs it.

Today is the Elementary school meet and greet. Aquaman has respectfully asked to return to preschool instead of kindergarten. Hopefully seeing his classroom and teacher will get him excited about the possibilities of a new year. He did admit that he is looking forward to the last part of the day, when there is time for free play with the other kids.

Both boys are ready for some time apart, and though it will be a new kind of a busy season, I am looking forward to it.

A few more moments with the happy little guy, and a little less bickering between the other 2. Aquaman and The Dude are the best of friends, but their fighting can be wearying. We all need a little room to grow on our own, and the closeness of siblings, in its very nature, can be stunting.

 2 strong willed boys jockeying for position all day can be exhausting. I'm looking forward to watching them come back together in the afternoons and the different dynamic they will have after some time apart.

Aquaman is anxious, and seems almost more shy than last year, and it's hard not to be a little anxious for him. But I definitely think being with younger children is going to give him more of a social edge this year.

I think what is difficult for Aquaman is that he is not just going to assimilate and be who people want him to be. He will not pretend to like something just because everyone else does, and he has very strong opinions about what he likes and doesn't. But he is also anxious about expressing what he DOES like for fear of rejection. It's a very strange blend of uber confidence and self consciousness.

His complexity astounds me, and fascinates me.

It is one of the most amazing things about motherhood, watching your children...become.

Every time I start to label one of them as this way, the next day they show me a whole new side to who they are. They grow, and mature, and change.

Yesterday, Aquaman astounded me, after 3 years of loving the color purple, by announcing that he's tired of purple, and it has moved to 2nd favorite.

Orange is the new purple, it seems.

Aquaman is only weeks away from turning 6.
I was 6 years old when God fully revealed Himself to me for the first time. 6 years old when He saved me and changed me.

I don't know if God will call Aquaman at age 6. Don't know how he'll respond if God does call . But I'm not interested in making Aquaman like me. Aquaman has his own path to follow. A path with pain and growth and opportunity.

And watching him in the ocean a week or so ago, I had a sudden revelation of peace about that.

You see, Aquaman's father and I were/are both surfers (I say were because I haven't surfed much since he was born. It's just hard to find the time. But it's still in my heart, and I will return to it). We fell in love surfing. Our honeymoon was a surf trip to El Salvador. Our baby shower invitation for Aquaman had a 1 yr old on it holding a surfboard. I still have it in my glove compartment, for some reason

But Aquaman has said, since he was young enough to talk, that he would never surf.
He didn't like the salt water in his eyes, or the unpredictability of the ocean, or getting knocked down by the waves.
And we have been ok with that, because Aquaman has to find his own way.

But we still love the ocean.
So since he was born, its been his 2nd home. He's spent hours and hours shoveling the sand. He's spent hours and hours studying the ocean. Jumping its waves.
Aquaman cannot be forced into anything, and I respect that about him. So for years he stayed on the shore. We didn't shove him on a surfboard and make him be who we wanted him to be. We just brought him to the beach.

And this summer, boogie board in hand, I've watched him turn into a surfer.

And I've marveled as I've watched. Because he's had very little formal teaching by us. Just exposure. And from this exposure, the most important thing of all has happened. He has fallen in love with it. Not for what the ocean is to me or JT. But for what it is to him.

His body seems to automatically know what to do on the board. He paddles out now, instead of walking his board. He catches the waves in just the right spot instead of waiting for the white water.
He comes out of the water with the biggest grin on his face.

In the end, it doesn't matter if he decides to be come a surfer. I'd love to share something I love with him, but ultimately who cares? So it's easier to be laid back about that. It matters infinitely and eternally that He chooses to walk with the Lord. And that makes it all the harder and more important to take it out of our hands and put it in the hands of God.

But ultimately the choice of whether to accept or choose the gift of God's grace is Aquaman's, and not mine.
I respect that. And I'm not very worried about it either.

Because he couldn't resist the beauty of the ocean. Couldn't stay away.
He learned it quietly when I barely noticed. He took it in deeply when I thought he wasn't paying attention.

And Grace is infinitely more beautiful, even than the ocean

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