Saturday, May 19, 2018

Our Boy

In the shuffle of a big family, one can sometimes feel lost. Birthdays, however, are days that I have tried desperately to keep sacred. We have the birthday breakfast and presents tradition. We have cake with the cousins and grandparents, followed up with a friend party, traditionally.

Well, this weekend, the shuffle of a big active family almost ruined my streak of intentional birthday awesomeness.

However, as I sit here writing this for my boy who is now seven, I am realizing that this is just about right. Having Jack's birthday during this truly busy time has always seemed like a lot in a sea of calendar events.

But this special day for this special boy has kept us always focusing on "the main thing" during times when we might forget who has eaten and who hasn't.

Our little guy's birthday has landed during late planting, during spraying, during pre-show season cattle work. He has had to share his day with the hustle of track meets and ball games and piano recitals. We have had later parties, joint parties, and sometimes teeny parties, but having his birthday in May makes us slow the heck down.

We need that right now. Hectic is our norm, and tonight, as we sat around the table with just the grandparents and our family, I realized that if we didn't have our boy's party tonight, I wouldn't have sat back and pushed my little people on the swing. I wouldn't have watched him as he and his sisters played joyfully in grass that was in woeful need of a mowing. I would have focused on the flowers I hadn't planted instead of enjoying the  bunches of grass and dandelions the little girls brought me as my mom and I had a real conversation.

I am so thankful for this night. And especially, especially thankful for my little/big boy.

Right now, Jack's in the season where he wants to tell a story and might start when you get in the car and finish just as you're pulling into the destination...often times close to 20 minutes later. He's in the season of wanting desperately to ride his bike by himself somewhere, but wonders if maybe I could watch him for a little longer. He's acting like a tough dude, but still loves a bedtime story and hearing me sing the song I have sung to him every night since he was born. He's good for a great joke he's found somewhere, and always one more cup of chocolate milk in the morning.

He is our slow down in the hurry up phase of our life.

Thank goodness for that.

Jack, we will always slow down for you. I may think I don't have time for another story, another song, another timed run around the house, but I do. I really do. I need to, and you have helped me do that more times than you have intended.

Sweet boy, today we have had to shuffle to celebrate, but we did it! We will get that friend birthday party, your Cardinals game with Dad, and another cup of chocolate milk on the calendar soon, but for now, sweet birthday dreams to you. We love you more than you could ever know.