Thursday, October 18, 2012

I do not know this kid

This child pictured here is the person who at 3 years old, screamed bloody murder as his dad was trying to put on a pirate costume that HE himself had picked out, but now it was too scary for him.  The year before, his Grammie had ordered online a Disney costume that she was really happy about.  If i had known i would have told her not to waste her money.  I acted enthusiastic about it, and of course he shot the idea down repeatedly.  When he was four, he wanted to wear a shirt that had spiders all over it.  He did not want to BE a spider.  So his wonderful daddy bought black puffy paint and meticulously drew spiders front and back over a grey thermal shirt.  The boy never wore it.  The spiders looked too real.  When he was five, he agreed to be spiderman.  I borrowed a costume from a friend knowing i sure as heck wasn't going to be spending money on something that most likely wouldn't get worn.  With family in town i held my breath to see if he'd back out at the last minute, depending on his mood.  He wore it, not once, but twice, and a super fun year for Halloween memories was made. He pretty much had an aversion to anything "costumey" since he was little, or maybe it was just anything that involved going along with a plan or whatever the majority was doing at the time.  This year, he had requested some Star Wars specific characters for Halloween and i found this costume at Goodwill (helmet was purchased later)  I had to wash it first then let it air dry out on the back deck in the sun.  He kept going out to see if it was dry yet, trying to convince me that it was okay if he wore it a little wet.  He wore it every day after school for a week.  Jaw drop.  

My ever evolving joey, who should have come with a manual the day he was born, that would've read something simple like this, "I like to watch things. I will join in when i am ready and not a moment earlier.  I am just as happy observing what is going on as are the children participating in _______.  A hidden bashful smirk from me is the equivalent of another child's gushing excitement.  The bigger reaction you expect of me, the less i will perform, and will retreat if pressed.  Please do not rush me, there's nothing wrong with me.  I did not choose to be born with a "difficult" personality, and i know God will use what strengths i have for a great purpose someday.  The things about me that challenge and frustrate and stretch you the most as a parent will be the same inborn characteristics that will be required to accomplish ____________.  You won't realize this quite yet, but i'm a lot like you, and your patience with me runs short sometimes because of how similar we are.  Please let me know that you like me, because i'm already so hard on myself.  Love, newborn joey.

Who is this kid?

Let's review some history to see why something looks out of place in this picture.  This same exact jacket was worn by this same exact (yet not quite the same) child a year ago for a family wedding.  This was met by repeated protests about not liking wearing fancy clothes and uncomfortable this and funny looking that.  And a few months later while getting ready for a family photo shoot, again in "uncomfortable" clothes, he bemoaned about how awful he looked.
Fast forward to last month, the night before picture day, i mention to joey that we haven't picked out clothes yet for the next day.  My eyes open wide and i hear him say, "Okay but we have to make sure it's something rEEAlly nice."  I say okay and half jokingly pull out this jacket, "This is probably too fancy for picture day right?"  He glances up from reading a magazine on his bed, and replies, "Oh no that's EXACTLY like what i was wanting to wear." My jaw drops.  I wait for the groans that don't come.  He gets dressed the next morning in the pre-determined outfit and even lets me tell him how handsome he looks.  Who is this kid?

There are soooo many other ways he has blossomed over the last year and a half it'd be hard to list everything.  He announced the other night that he was ready to take swimming lessons again.  But there are moments that set me back and i realize that yep, my joey is definitely still in there, and this parenting ride is going to have some rough twists and dips.  My boys are all so uniquely made that it only reinforces my trust in God all the more.  Only He knows their ins and outs so intimately because he designed every part of them.  I have to yield my concerns and anxieties over to God on a daily basis, and trust him with their lives.  Only then do i have the hope and joy to accomplish this awesome responsibility of raising these children.

And there's always Yoda to go to if you need some good advice- "Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering"

We've got a little bit of a Star Wars obsession in the house lately.  From what i hear, it'll go away around never.

1 comment:

  1. Is all this true?? What have you done with my nephew!?! ; )

    You know how excited I am though!?! Because of Joey's 'watch, study, contemplate...decide', personality I always felt that he was going to miss out of so many fun things, because after studying he would decide to 'pass'. And that's so not's for sure closer to you and your bro's personalities... ; ). So hearing that he is 'easing-up' or whatever makes me so happy...even though I know to him life is the same. And in reality he wouldn't really miss out on anything, in my mind he was. You are so good at just letting him be who he is and not pushing him too hard. I need to learn that.
    Anyway, I'm excited for my Joey, can't wait to hear what he does next! And I'm sad we are not goin to be there this year for Halloween!! You'll never guess what Grant is goin to be...yep a freaking Starwars guy!!! He's never seen movie, cartoon...just read him one book from the library over a month ago and found a freaking $2 light saber at goodwill, that somehow he got to work while other kids couldnt and a 'Jedi-like' robe that I bought last year for his 'dress-up' box...and without any hesitation, "I want to be a Star Wars guy!!"...But grant how about the cute little lion?". "nope, Star Wars Guy"...alrighty then! ; ). Joey's costume is 100times better than Grants though! He looks freaking awesome!!
    Please tell me Oliver is goin to be Yoda!!!??! And Ian a Jedi?? Oh oh oh and you can be Princess Laya!! LOL!

    I loved your instruction manual on Joey...I wonder if in 20 years it will still apply and what the occupation/passion it will be that filled in the blank.

    Thanks for blogging...I already feel like I a missing everything, so at least this way I'm kinda caught up on the important stuff ; )