You and me. This past year when I’ve looked at your face I’ve seen mine. Not mine now, but mine then. Chipmunk cheeks, a gap-toothed grin, freckles sprinkled across a button nose. It’s strange and amazing to look at the kid you never saw in the mirror. You are beginning to look in the mirror now, not running past it anymore, putting product in your hair. But I have this feeling you are not seeing what I see. It might take looking into your own child’s eyes one day, taking in their smile and almost same face, to see what I see.
I see the pull. The one that tugs at both ends. It asks you to stay little and not have a care. And it demands that you grow up and be responsible. While I want you to grow in responsibility I hope you don’t tune out the voice that beckons you to stay young. It’s a much quieter tune. It sounds like the wind and laughter. It tastes like cotton candy and cinnamon toast. It feels like summer and all kinds of silly.
This year, as you’ve been living between little and big, I’m noticing things about you. Things that I couldn’t name when you were little, but am now finding as clues. Signs from the Spirit that point the way to what you were woven with, within the womb. Love and justice, this one. Love and justice. You’re growing in these things just as much as you are at football and basketball and the things you practice.
In this pull, I’ll stay close by, paying attention to you and what you might not pay attention to. Your dad and I will help you walk from little to big. We will live in the middle with you. Guiding you as our tender-hearted toughie who has an ability to love deeply and as one who has a heart for justice.
But, for now, in this middle space where your feet move forward but your eyes spill out that you are not so sure …. let me assure you that, it’s ok to live right here in the middle. To stay young as you walk towards big.
+ You love shoes more than your sister does. And you’ve gotten really good at drawing them, too.
+ This year you are all about Pokemon cards
+ You’ve perfected a backflip in the pool (and on Gommy’s bed) this summer. And you’ve taught yourself how to do a half.
+ Lacrae is your fave music of the moment
+ When you read at night you ask me to sit with you. You read one page, I read one page.
+ This year you are all about cologne and hair product
+ You are playing Quarterback this fall and killing it
+ You still sneak snacks and I still find the wrappers (EVERYWHERE)
+ You are excellent at giving back rubs, especially if it allows you to stay up late
+ You’ve been all about magic tricks lately (thank you, YouTube)
+ I know you love a blue raspberry slush with nerds from Sonics
+ You have the sweetest tooth in the house and possibly the sweetest heart
+ Your fave meal is BLT’s (not sure if that counts as a meal)
+ You are so good with little kids. They are always drawn to you.
+ Basketball is your favorite and best, but you are great at any and every athletic thing you try
+ You are persistent in asking if you can get a line shaved into your hair and we are persistent in saying, “no.”
+ You have a deep love for family, friends, and God.
+ You are my tender-hearted toughie