I watched as a small 6th grade boy ran up to AJ and asked if he would sit with him. It wouldn’t necessarily be odd, except for the fact that AJ was an 8th grader. Starter on the basketball team. And at least a foot taller than the 6th grader. I realized something as I watched.
AJ is incredibly humble. Most 8th grade, athletic boys think of themselves as really something.
They are the starters.
They are the ones scoring all the points, and they are the ones to be looked up to.
But AJ doesn’t roll like that.
What would make a 6th grader feel comfortable asking the big 8th grader to sit with him? Humility.
AJ understands how life should work. He understands that being humble is the way to live life. It doesn’t matter if he was the one scoring the winning basket, or playing his last game on a sprained ankle. Ya, he’s tough. But he gets it. He is so wise for a 14-year-old. And he has shown a very valuable lesson to this boy, and anyone else watching him. He has shown him the importance of thinking of others as better than yourself. Sure. We drilled those verses into him as a child, but we can not ever be the ones that make our kids do what they do. They have the freedom to obey what we have taught them, or to go on their own and make their own choices. See, I never told my boys – if you are in 8th grade, make sure you are nice to the 6th grade non-starters. But the principles we are teaching them play out when they are in real life situations every day.
Oh I am so proud of my boy. He is 14-years-old today, and it hardly seems possible. It really seems like just yesterday that I was almost anxious as I prepared to tell my husband who had just lost his job, that we were going to have a baby. Nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.
No books do it justice, and no other person can explain what it’s really like. You suddenly have this new life. That is part you. Part love of your life.. and the love. Well, it’s overwhelming really.
I never felt fear as I prepared to be a mom.
I never got nervous that I would mess up. Not because I thought I was so great, but just because this is what I had always wanted. I had the most amazing role model as my own mom, and another great role model in my mother-in-law. My older sister was also showing me by living it out, just how to be a godly mom. And there were many times I would call her and ask for advice.
And here we are, 14 years later, looking back at where the time has gone.
It flies. Just like they all say it will. But you can hardly think of the word “fly” to describe the nights with a 1 1/2-year-old who doesn’t think sleeping is all that important. You might think of drag, never-ending, long, slow…any of those. And not in a negative, complaining way. Just in a will-I-ever-sleep-again kind of way. And the answer is yes. Yes you will. And you will look back at those nights and long for just one more. Just one more night where you can pick him up, hold his sweet little curly haired head against your chest and sing. You will wish for just one more day of sticky hands, toddling and never ending veggie tales movies. And then, when you are longing for those sweet days, your grown up boy will come up behind you and put his arms around you and say “I love you mom.” And you will be just fine with the stage you are in now. You will be just fine with the amazing friendship you have gained, although you never even really thought about that aspect of it. You will enjoy exactly where you are. You will realize that all those people who tried to convince you that the teenage years are the worst could not have been more wrong. Because I know that I am going to blink, and I will be talking about how fast this very stage went by. I loved every single stage my kids have gone through. I loved the 2’s, and I loved the pre-teens, and I love the teens. They’re all different, but they are all amazing.
So when is it ok to brag on your kids? Always. Always, when they are growing up to be godly, respectful, loving obedient kids.
AJ. I can’t even begin to express what it does to this heart of mine when I see the way you live. The way you treat other people.
The way you serve. The way you laugh. The way you work. The way you love.
You are amazing. I can’t say it enough.
I watched you play pool for 2 hours with a couple of 6th grade boys today, which ended with one of them saying, “Can we be friends?” And you smiled and said, “sure!” Because that’s who you are. That’s the kind of boy you are. You don’t care how other people treat you, you love anyways. You are a true leader.
I can learn a lot from you. And sometimes, I cry for you because I don’t like when people treat you wrong. I don’t think you ever deserve that. Maybe all parents feel this way, but you just let things go. You don’t waste your time thinking about that, you just think about how you can treat others.
And it challenges me, and changes me. I don’t think that I ever really thought that my kids would teach me how to be better. I just figured it was my job to teach you. But you have. And you continue to.
And I know how blessed I am to have you in my life.
I can’t even imagine life without you.
Thank you for being your silly, crazy, loud self. I love your dance moves, your faces, your taste in food, your love for life, your neatness, your love of music, your even-keeled-ness… I just love everything about you.
Every day, I look and you and I still can’t believe you’re mine. I love you so much.
Anyone who knows you is better because of it. xo