7 – But not perfect

Today, my first baby turned 7.  What a big number!  At least, for me.  As I’ve considered for the past 4 months the fact that my eldest would be turning seven, I’ve realized that I’m not a mom of babies anymore.  Of course, I still have my babies, but a 7 year old is NOT a baby.  Nope.  My little Frog will never be a baby again.  He has assured me countless times, however, (when I’ve threatened to keep him small by putting a brick on his head – as my mother always threatened me… or when Mike and I said we decided to not let him have a birthday this year so he can’t get older) that no matter how big he gets, he will always be my baby.  “Not a real baby, but your baby.”  Sigh.  Still, it’s not quite the same.  He can’t understand that.  I didn’t when I promised my mom I’d always cuddle with her – which, I may add, I have stayed true to!

I’m excited for him to grow up.  Just as he’s excited to get bigger, older, and become more of a man.  I’m excited to relate to him in new ways that I couldn’t before because he was too young.  I’m excited to see him become everything God has destined for him to be.  But a part of me mourns that baby he’ll never be again.  His wide open-mouthed baby kisses (that earned him the name “Froggie-Baby”).  His baby giggles.  His baby logic that was so ridiculous, and yet made enough sense to create a lot of laughter and give us lots of stories.  His baby cheeks that squished up into his big blue baby eyes.  His skinny baby legs.

True, most of that he grew out of long ago.  But I could still see it when I looked at him.  He’s starting to develop so much into a young man that it’s getting hard to see my little baby there anymore.  Instead, I see someone who can understand that other people have feelings, too.  Someone who is learning to sacrifice his own time to care for someone else, and help them feel better.  I am now seeing a boy who yearns to flex some muscle in independence because to him those muscles feel strong enough now to be able to be used.  He is a boy who has an amazing smile, but frequently chooses to hide it.  A boy who loves to have fun, but seems intent to put on a melancholy attitude.  A boy who can be so sensitive to what I’m going through, and then later can’t seem to hear my voice anymore.  He is becoming someone I can count on more and more to be helpful.  And he loves/accepts the responsiblities of his age.  He is my son.  My sweet, baby boy that I used to cuddle with as an infant.  Now my big boy that I can look at and have understanding simply from the meeting of our eyes.  He isn’t perfect, but he’s wonderful.

Today, I had to discipline him again for lying.  He cried and said, “I”m not 7… I’m still 6.”  He thought that by turning one year older, he would somehow reach that age of perfection and no longer make any mistakes.  Poor baby!  What a let-down!  As I explained to him that no one reaches that perfection while on earth, I thought of how I can tend to put similar expectations on myself.  And my husband.  And my kids.  I don’t expect perfection-perfection.  But I guess I expect some measure of it, because I don’t seem to have the patience to let things work out at the pace they do.  Faster.  Quicker.  Now!  Hopefully, I conveyed something that made sense to his newly-turned-7-year-old brain that let him know he will always be a work-in-progress; and that I love him and respect him continually through that process.  He deserves that knowledge.  Not because I’m a biased mom (though I am that).  Definitely not because he’s reached perfection.  But because God has set him apart to be loved and respected.  And that’s more than enough.  His identity is already defined by his Father.  He’s not perfect at 7.  Would you expect him to be?  Do you love him, enjoy him, or respect him less because of his imperfection?  Hardly.  That must be how God sees me, too.  I’m not perfect at 31, either.

Happy Birthday, my little Frog!


One Response to “7 – But not perfect”

  1. I love this! You’re a good writer. Happy Birthday, 7-year-old nephew. Love you!

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