Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seven

Tonight was a special night.

We've been doing our advent calendar everyday and I was good about giving each kid their own "special" day this month. Four days this month are assigned to be each kids' day. Tuesday was Lauren's day and it was all about her. We were supposed to find little ways to serve her and show her extra attention. But that kid took it way too far and every other thing our of her mouth was "But it's LAUREN'S day!!!" And she was right. So she got her way about everything and that was okay. After all, she is three. Cody made sure to call her from work just to talk to her and no one else. She got a big kick out of that, and in the evening he came home and took her out to McDonalds (per her request) and then to Childrens' Place where she picked out a five dollar shirt with a glittery horsie on it. She has worn it non-stop.

Today happened to be Ethan's sepecial day and when he got home from school I said he could do anything he wanted, so he jumped on the computer to look at Legos and do the activities on the website. The boy is obsessed these days! Then remembering what Lauren got to do on her day, he insisted that he got to go to McDonadls too. But tonight it was me that got to take him and that was probably more of a treat for me than it was for him.

I rarely get to spend time with him one on one and it was great hanging with The Buddy tonight. He will be seven at the beginning of the year, and as we were walking out to the car to leave I mentioned to him that seven years ago I had a big pregnant belly with him on the inside. And that started all kinds of conversations about how fast he is growing up and the responsibilities he holds by being the oldest kid in the family. As I drove and we talked I kept thinking about how yes, only seven short years ago he was in my belly. I was remembering exactly how it felt and what it was like for me as I neared the end of my first pregnancy. And here I am, nearing the end of my last pregnancy. The feelings are so bittersweet, and I wish so badly that I had savored these years a little more. Savored each pregnancy, savored each newborn stage, savored each milestone and not wished so many of them away.

Seven years ago Cody and I spent an entire Saturday Christmas shopping and I remember getting home that evening and having feet the size of the Titanic. I swelled like a balloon with Ethan and I have a bazillion stretch marks on my thighs and calves alone to prove just how plump they got in that very first pregnancy. I remeber everything from exactly seven years ago. And tonight I sat in McDonalds eating my southwest grilled chicken salad while my son ate his first ever mighty kids meal (no wimpy normal sized happy meals for him anymore) and we actually talked about the possibility of him being baptized when he turns eight. I want him to start thinking seriously about it now. I want to totally leave it up to him for if he even wants to be baptized and we talked all about that tonight. And the crazy thing is, he got it. He totally got it. How on earth could I be talking about baptism with that same little baby who I was carrying exactly seven years ago?

He is a good kid. No, he is a great kid. We went back to Childrens' Place on the way home
to trade something that Cody had gotten on Tuesday and while we were there Ethan found a bouncy ball that he really wanted to get. It wasn't anything special and I asked him why he wanted it, when we have a million balls like it at home. He said he wanted it for his brother, because he knows he loves balls. I just smiled and flipped it over to find a price tag, and then realized I could not justufy spending almost ten dollars on something that would cost two at Target. He was really disappointed because he wanted to surprise Devin with it. I dunno, I probably should have let him get it. He's a good brother like that.
As we drove home he said from the back seat "Hey mom, thanks for hanging out with me tonight." I wanted to cry. I sometimes wish I wasn't spread so thin and that I did have more time for each child. I cherish the one on one time, but most days there isn't enough of me to go around. I need to find a way to change that.

I have been thinking about the genuine goodness that is in Ethan. He has a true desire to be a good person and to do right by people. Part of it is childhood innocence, and part of it is just him. But I fear for what the world can do to him. How do I keep him good and pure like he is now? How do I keep him continually loving his family and wanting to be a good example for the four kids who will always look up to him? How do I keep that fire in him to make good choices? Anyone who hears him say a prayer is blown away when he says things like "Please bless that the spirit will be in our hearts and offer us protection from the world." He is amazing like that. I want him to always be the same person he is right now. Full of goodness and love. But I also have to let him be free to use his own agency and be who is wants to be. Oh it is such a difficult job as a parent to remember that.

Cody has been going into work at 5 a.m. many mornings recently, so he sometimes sleeps on basement bed so he doesn't disturb me when he gets up. The other night I was in the bathroom pretty late washing my face when I heard someone come into the room and get in bed. Naturally, I thought it was Cody and that he had changed his mind about sleeping downsatirs. I came into the room to find Ethan laying on our bed. He didn't say a word, he just went right back to sleep. He used to do this a lot when he was little, but not in a long time. It melted my heart to see him laying there and I had to take a picture. Is that weird? Perhaps. I just love the times when he stills wants to be my little boy and cuddle with Mommy. These times are growing very few and far between.

1 comment:

Brock and Jennie said...

That was such a sweet post. I hope you print it off and put it in a book for Ethan to remember when he's a naughty teenager! JK
He was just a baby when you guys moved here! Now he's so grown up! My boys just love him by the way.

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