Monday, October 17, 2016

The art of being a boy.

The last few months have been big for our boy.  As we said goodbye to summer and began a new school year much has been asked of this little guy.  All good.  All fun.  Just sailing through the seas of growing up.  
The anxiety bug made it's way to his little heart after the first week of preschool.  His tears and screams meant he literally had to be peeled from our legs at drop off while his teacher held him so he wouldn't leave the room.  This of course sowed the seed of anxiety into mommy and daddy's heart too.  In this we feel even more secure on our school decision.  Seeing the way his teacher has loved and prayed for him, while communicating his progress to us has eased our minds.  Leaving home, blanky, sister, mommy, and daddy make going to school tough, but once he is there he has a wonderful time.
  We have been blown away by the things he is learning in preschool.  We've worked on letters and writing at home for over a year but it always lasted 5 min before he was over it.  Now, he walks in the door from school excited to show us his letter of the week and it has sparked the series of  "how do you spell  ?" questions.  He is a writing machine and with excellent penmanship for a 4 year old.  Painting and drawing have never been his thing until now.  With his monthly artist studies he has taught us a thing or two!  He told us at dinner one night that he loved drawing but his "favorite is Kandinsky and his concentric circles." He recently shared with me that art is his favorite thing to do, to which I replied, I thought sports were your favorite...?  "Well, it was, but then I realized I like art better."  
His love for all sports has been very apparent since he was two.  This fall he suited up in uniform to play his first organized sport, t-ball.  He had a blast with his team and took his role quite seriously.  At the very first game he told us he "knew everyone would be cheering for the Gophers!"; and of course we were, especially his sister.  Two games a week, some late and played after a day at school or Bible study; well that my friends could take a tole on anybody.  It seemed like a lot to us, especially for our  homebody Henry.  After hearing him say "this is an awful big day for a four year old!" we knew we had to show him extra grace during this period of time.   Grace when fits came more frequent than usual, grace when he had to be told 5 times to complete a task, and grace when a tired boy acted grumpy or simply forgot his manners.  He learned a lot about the game, found a love for hitting and catching grounders, and was pleased as punch to end the season playing better than before.  
School.  Bible Study.  Fall Ball.  
All good, all fun, but combined they have put our boy into a different stage of life.  Even though he is only going to preschool two days a week we have three mornings of get up and go.  He notices that his baby sister gets to stay in her pajamas while we beg him to get dressed.  The lazy mornings he gets are a lot more treasured, and so is time with his mommy and daddy.  Separation anxiety has kinda returned for the moment, and we try to comfort, encourage and soak in a few extra hugs while it's here.  
The art of being a boy seems to have been mastered here lately.  He can often be found playing ball, rolling in grass, and diving for balls until his pants tell a story better than the pages of Sports Illustrated.  Trees are now looked at as a God given playground, their branches good for hanging and trunks made for climbing.  A stick is more than a stick; it can fight dragons, hit homers, reel in the big one, and defeat Darth Vader.  Furniture was made to be jumped off of, floors and walls a canvas to draw on, and beds were created to launch you into the air.  
And farts, now those are a God given talent your are required to brag about.  As a young boy it would be a crime to let a day pass by that you didn't tell someone to "Smell my tootsy, smell my tootsy." 
At age 4.5 you have started to care about what clothes you wear.  Comfort and color seem to be your style, anything Underarmour, superhero, or American is a win.  Even elastic waisted chambray shorts are no match for a pair of camouflage sweatpants.  You love to flaunt your crazy style too with an affinity for brightly colored socks.  I kinda dig this about you, even when my OCD brain wants to tell you they don't match a thing else you have on.  "Oh Mom!"
Our favorite Henryisms lately:
Before announcing which player he is going to pretend to be when driving a golf ball; "What universe (university) is Bubba Watson from? " 
"Do you know how old blank is? 32."
Getting out of bed one to many times he opened the door and said "I know I can't have any more excuses tonight."  
"Blanky is gonna need a time out.  He keeps putting fuzz in my mouth....we need to talk."
Giving me a replay from a football game: "then they made a thumble!
Being put to bed: "it's time to turn out the lights!" (as he squeezes his eyes shut.)
"Was that fighter jet flying faster than the earth spins?"
  Yes. "That's really fast!"
  Yes, it is very fast.  "That's faster than me running!"
I love the little boy you have become, the one who fills my heart with joy as I watch you discover the world.  I adore the questions you ask as you try to learn more about things you hear, see and experience.  Your inquisitive little mind can sit deep in thought at times until you conjure up the questions you want to ask.  
You have a love for yourself and for God in the purest of ways, and praying with you is sometimes the biggest pleasure in my day.  You innately praise him in a way I've only recently learned how to verbalize, and I hope your light for His truth never dims.  I'm so proud to play the role of mama to you Henry Thomas, thank you for loving and living the way you do.  

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