Of course there’s so much to tell after all we’ve seen and done since I wrote last. You’ve really grown, not just your body but your heart and your mind. Daddy and I have spoken so much in the last week about what we are seeing in you. I don’t know what did it, besides the obvious answer that God’s Spirit has been slowly growing grace in your heart like a little tiny seedling. We’ve known that all along, but it’s been hard to see sometimes. Now we are enjoying a season more peaceful than any we’ve had yet this year, and we are delighting in you every day. Not that we don’t always delight in you, even when we’re going through hard times, but that lately it’s been easy.
You had a ball in Florida with Gramma & Grampa and you have so obviously learned a lot. Maybe it was having to answer to a different set of authorities. Maybe it was your tough, happy 3yo cousin knocking off a few of your rough edges. Maybe it was just getting a break from Mommy & Daddy, and Mommy & Daddy getting a break from you. Maybe you are still just so happy to have us back. I think a lot of it has been your own development, both physically, mentally, and as you’ve grown in wisdom (the art of living well in the world God made).
Anyway, you are hardly the boy we left there in Florida. The biggest thing we’ve noticed is that while we still struggle off and on with obedience as of course we always will, we feel like you have an easy, soft heart. The intense, stubborn rebellion that has worn us out is barely noticeable. There is so much more peace in our house now and when we have to discipline you it is so much more simple and calm and quick.
You made big strides in getting comfortable with water at the pool in Florida, though you are so terrified of the waves of the ocean that you pretty much cry and cower the whole time we’re there. You are getting better at trusting us with yourself, though and we’re even seeing you begin to conquer some of your little fears.
You had lots of good times with Nate and all the rest of the gang at Gramma’s house and had lots of love from my two little sisters. You got very good at arguing about perfectly stupid things, thanks to your constant close proximity to a peer. And you were really into train tracks (well then, so was I) by the end of our time in Florida.
Then there was the dragon. Side by side with Nate, you fought that dragon (a palm branch being waved by Grampa) with great enthusiasm, wearing your armor and brandishing your weapon, gifts from Auntie Grace.
Your language and communication skills have developed enormously, as well as your collection of crazy songs to sing (“the lime in the coconut song was the top hit”). And you just seem so grown up in your take on the world. And I have to mention, too, how you amazed us with your stamina, patience, and good humor on our long road-trip home, when we traveled in two days what we’d made four on the way there.
I can’t write much today. I played with you and Merry all morning and now you are napping (please go to sleep!) and I’m on my way to make dinner before I leave for a meeting. Tonight I want to rest, and I’m trying to be wiser in how much I let myself pursue in any given day, after lots of reflection this summer on the last couple years and their endless rapid waves of fatigue and burnout.
I’ve been thinking it’s about time to shorten these epistles, anyway. Constrain myself toward more polished writing and less rambling. Focus on a few little things. It all fits in to the desires Daddy and I have been developing, cultivating, strategically seeking to attain – desires to slow our family’s pace to something sane and sustainable with time and space left over.
So today all I have left to say is that I am oh-so-proud of you as I watch you grow and understand the world, and I am enjoying being your mommy so much after missing you for three whole weeks. Let’s not do that again soon, OK? You are such a delight to us and such an evidence of God’s good work, and I’m glad Meredith has such a great big brother as the object of her perpetual imitations.
One more thing: I would never get tired of the sound of your voice and the shine in your eyes when you say “We MISSED you Mommy Daddy!” Thanks for loving us.
I love you, buddy.