Monday, November 21, 2011

Accountable (updated)

Well, he's gone and done it.  Buddy has officially aged to the wonderful age of 8.  It's so hard to believe he's gone from this:

To this:

Every parent says their kids grow too fast but... wow.  I didn't know how hard it would be to see my kids grow up. Not that the future isn't exciting and bright for him, but he's officially at the age of accountability and responsibility.  I had no idea the absolute terror I would feel about the "world" sucking all that is good out of him.  Unfortunately, he will experience sorrow, loneliness, worry, frustration, fear.  Nobody wants that for their child.  But when it's my child. My heart breaks knowing that life is hard for everyone, and my firstborn son will experience hard times too.  I love that my job is to teach, support, and help him.  Plus he's quick to forgive, capable, strong, and smart.  So between his own abilities and the strength of his many loved ones, he'll be OK.  But wow, that's a lot of pressure for a mom!  He deserves the very best life has to offer, but as I've been trying to teach him, life isn't "fair."  I want him to somehow know how to be happy despite hard times.  It's crazy to think he is now responsible for his own happiness. 

I had a feeling mothering would be hard -- because everyone tells you that.  But they also said sleepless nights and potty-training were what made it so hard.  Well, I'm going to publicly say that if that's what you consider "hard," you have easy kids.  Buddy worries me, confuses me, exhausts me, and makes me so incredibly happy all in the same day.  Nobody tells you that sort of stuff -- the rollercoaster your heart goes on when dealing with regular life.

I'll tell you one thing, my heart practically bursts on a daily basis because of his wonderful personality.  He loves deeply, is so patient, loves life, loves everybody, loves God, is curious, and is smart.  I'm so happy to be Buddy's mother.  I didn't know that parenting would be so much fun -- nobody tells you that either. 

I brought him Taco Bell at school for lunch today and enjoyed him whispering in my ear which girls he has a crush on and which girls have a crush on him.  He was the last kid still eating so I encouraged him to hurry and eat so he could go to recess.  He said, "That's OK.  I'm enjoying this more than I'd enjoy recess."  It's moments like that that I work for day-in and day-out with my kids.  And when they happen -- and with him they happen pretty often -- it's pure bliss.

Buddy is such a gift to our family.  But I had a distinct feeling this morning that he is a gift to a lot of families.  Two families call him son.  Those two families are celebrating his life today.  Real life started for those two families when he was born.  It's a lot of pressure for kids to be told they are "lucky" they were adopted, so I am going to try to never give him that responsibility to feel lucky.  But I do want him to know that he is very blessed and lucky to have so many people that love him. 

Not to mention, his wide circle of friends that love him.  When I was at the school today I enjoyed being proudly introduced to all his friends.  Plus all his friends from church, the neighborhood, and former classes that came and said hi to me too.  Nobody told me how awesome that part of parenting is either.  Becoming friends with your kids' friends -- so rewarding.  Then there was a friend of mine at the school who has taken an interest in him over the past year.  Nobody told me that would happen.  That my friends would care about my kids?  I've never felt so humble and thankful, as I was when I learned that one of my friends has prayed for my son.  She saw us having lunch and came to wish him a happy birthday.  She sat down next to him, told him she cared about him, that she had his baptism on her calendar and that she was giving him a challenge to bear his testimony at church after his baptism.  If he'd do it, she'd do it.  They both struggle with anxiety, so her love means a lot to him. 

I don't know what I did (wrong or right) to get this job of raising Buddy.  What a blessing.  I love him with all my heart!

*  Our Bishop just called to wish Buddy a happy birthday.  How cool is that?!

Also, I most definitely do NOT have my sister's or friends' talents for making cool birthday cakes.  I shouldn't even try.  Well, to be completely honest, I don't even try.  Buddy's birthday cake was an afterthought today.  I knew and planned the type of cake, but I didn't have a plan for how to execute it.  It turned out horrific at best.  Honestly, it was so ridiculous looking, I couldn't stop laughing and should have been totally ashamed of myself.  I apologized to Buddy for making it so ugly and he said, "If I was allowed to say 'shut up' I would right now.  The cake is fine."

I rest my case about his awesomeness.


J said...

Happy Birthday Buddy. I can't wait for your baptism.

R said...

We felt (feel) the exact same way about parenting and you as our eldest. We just never expressed it as eloquently as you have here. And we are just as proud of Buddy as our oldest grandchild. Happy B-day, Buddy.

Myndi said...

This is a very beautiful post about a very beautiful child. We love you Buddy and WE feel lucky to know you and participate in your life.

P.S. out the window in front of me is a huge bird's nest visible because the leaves have dropped. I can't help wondering your thoughts on what kind of birds made it and lived in it.