Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Boy

Character issues abound when you have three little ones in the house. Kindness. Selflessness. Trustworthiness. Politeness.

There is always something, and sometimes it wears on me.

Wears on me because it seems constant. If one isn't grabbing a toy out of someone else's hand, then the other is trying to cajole the third into hitting someone with a wooden spoon.

Wears on me because talking it out requires time. And patience. I suppose I have time - as long as no one minds if dinner is late. And I know I HAVE patience. It's just that using it isn't the most self-satisfying response I can think of.

(Character issues of my own, you ask? Indeed!)

So I have been growing tired of addressing character lately. I suppose God knew this, because he sent me a little boy. Well, not SO little. More like about-to-turn-four little. And, sometimes, that boy does things that give me hope that, when it comes to character, all is not lost.

This is the boy who, though far too fascinated with breaking things for his mother's liking, is just happy to be alive. Laid back. Sensitive in a sweet, almost-four-years-old kind of way.

He asked for a snack yesterday right before lunch. I responded by asking him if he could just wait til lunch before he ate anything. This day, instead of asking me to change my mind, or whining about how hungry he was, he simply said, "That's a great idea, mom!"

Why, thank you for saying so, son. It was a little boost for me; a welcome reprieve.

My sweet boy did it again tonight as we read "The Giving Tree" before bed. The story is new to him, so I knew to watch his face as I read. Whenever he hears a story for the first time, every emotion he experiences is displayed plainly in his face.

We got to the part where "the tree was happy. But not really" and Jonathan just about bust out crying.

Oblivious to the fact that I already knew, he drew close to me and said, "this story makes me want to cry."

We talked about that story and about what it means to be a good friend. I explained to him that stories like that make us sad because we know that someone else felt hurt. Then I told him that a good friend remembers to be kind so that others won't feel hurt.

Then I gave him an example. A real life example that happened just this week.

He and Ms. Boo marched into the kitchen just as I was making out my grocery list. Cake mix was on sale and two birthdays are coming up, so I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. (He loves chocolate, but I didn't want to assume.)

"Chocolate," he replied - as expected.

But no sooner had the word come out of his mouth than Boo chimed in with, "Yuck!" (Not a fan of the chocolate cake, she.)

Without a moment's hesitation, Bug declared, "I want white cake mom!"

"Do you, really want white cake?" I asked. "You can have whatever kind you want."

"I want white cake. That way Boo can have some too!"

After praising him for his very selfless decision, he (and I am not kidding you) walked around singing, "I love white cake. It's so good. I love white cake..."

When I reminded him of that story tonight, I told him that I knew he did it because he didn't want Boo to feel bad, and that that's how good friends act toward each other.

He turned to me, with a look of despair and said, "but what kind of icing will we have?"

"Chocolate," I replied.

"But Boo can't have that! We can't have chocolate icing!"

I assured the boy that Boo does, indeed, like chocolate icing, and all was right with his world.

I can't stand it. That child is too sweet.

I am grateful for his little reminders to me that my children's character is not a lost cause.

Thank God for little boys.


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3 Comments:

Blogger Diane J. said...

...And a little child shall lead them...

Bless his little heart. I hope his heart is always tender in regard to others' feelings.

You've got a keeper there. :-)

Wed Jan 24, 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger Shalee said...

That is just the sweetest post, Lori. What a blessing he is to you and to those around him.

Happy birthday to your little boy!

Wed Jan 24, 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger ShaggaBear said...

Amazing. I love it when God shows us what it means to come to Him as a little child. Your boy is a great example! Give him an extra hug from me. :)

Wed Jan 24, 01:53:00 PM  

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