At just a smidgen past three years old, I can already see so much of your personality.Right now it is nap-time, and as usual you are refusing to sleep. Until recently you have used nap time to get caught up on your reading, and every now and then you would fall asleep with a book, lovingly in your arms. These days, nap time is when you are displaying your persistent and independent streak. Your books and animals end up out of your bed, and most days I catch you standing on your Duplo wagon to try to reach the top sections of your bookshelf.
During your waking hours, you are such a curious boy. I have found many ink pens disassembled and only partially put back into working order. You have yet to meet a book you did not like, though each week you have a new favorite. This week I have read the library books Oh No George and Duckling Gets A Cookie probably two hundred times each. Luckily, this week I enjoy your favorites. Some weeks (like when you are obsessed with the cow books) I find myself trying to skip paragraphs or pages.
You are shy in a crowd, but a ham with your family and our closest friends. At today's story time, you listened just perfectly during the stories and laughed at the funny parts (even though most of the other kids did not), but during the parachute/music portion you resisted participating. I wondered if you felt about the parachute activity how I have always felt about gym class. Are you already anti-group participation?
You test me, Bubby. You test the boundaries just enough to remind me that you are three and that you are human. I am relieved that most of this testing is done at home, rather than in public. Of course a part of me would love if you were always an easy going, compliant child, but deep down I know this testing serves a purpose. Through it you will understand the great balance of independence and authority, discipline and grace. And as I teach you during these testing moments, you teach me so much more - about self-control, about faith, about forgiveness, and about love.
I see you right now, through your open doorway. I hear you, too, banging a Lego that I thought I had confiscated and will now have to take. As I go in again to remind you IT'S NAP TIME, I will also remind myself how much I love you. I love the way you nurture your brother and your stuffed animals. I love the way you laugh at the ridiculous things we say and do. I love the way you dance without shame to I'm in the Lord's Army and Doodle Bugs. I love the way you say your Bible verse with enthusiasm a dozen times a day. I love you at the moments your behaviors drive me craziest because it is then I realize the most how much you are like me. And I love you because you are mine. Simply that, little boy. I love you because you are mine.