when something occupies this much of my mind and heart, i have to write.  it feels good to digest it once through living it, and another time in retrospect-through writing.  to me it is somehow healing.  therapy.

and when it’s about your first born, you go ahead and grab a box of kleenex and just let your heart loose.  that boy sure does have a healthy grip around my heart.  i mean he was the first one to spin it into an overload oblivion almost five years ago.  and boy did my whole world change.  richness that i just can’t describe.  
but when my babies struggle, i crumble.  
i wrote a post describing the hardest season on this parenting journey (you can read that by clicking here), and am daily grateful for the way it has changed my perspective on parenting.  it’s more fair to all my children this way.  had i not walked that heart-wrenching year, i wouldn’t be fully equipped to emotionally digest certain situations that arise.  
i now only focus on what my children can do, not where they lack.  i exalt their strengths and encourage them to overcome their weaknesses.  but come hell our high water, i’m on a mission to lead my son out of some of his fears.  it breaks my heart when i see him tremble.  if he sees a dog, he clenches my leg, tears flood his cheeks in a split second.  when i get down to his level to comfort him, i feel his whole body tremble.  you can’t get through to him in that moment that the dog will not hurt him.  i just hate this for my son.  
i thought we had him over his fear of dogs when we went on vacation to visit all his cousins, but then we came back to the land of no dogs, the fear crept back in.  but that shows me that we can (and will!!) defeat this little fear that tries to rob my son of one of life’s little joys.  
i have worked overtime at encouraging him to overcome small fears, with the very first fear he had being beach sand.  homeboy wasn’t having it.  he hated it on his feet and he darn sure wasn’t going to sit there like the little two-year-old across the way and build a sand castle.  he made our beach trips….well, miserable.  we just didn’t go.  instead, i decided to fill up some buckets of sand for him to play with at home.  at this time in his life he was a dinosaur fanatic so i used that to my advantage.  
lets just say i had him digging for dinosaurs in no time.  
he realized that playing in the sand wasn’t so bad.  in fact, he fell in complete love with his little sand buckets.  this was at age two-and-a-half.  after showing him that sand was good, our next beach trip was amazing.  and he hasn’t regretted dumping that fear for one second.  
that was our first, out of many to come, small victories.
he has overcame so many little fears.  and when he does, he never looks back.  and that is why i am so confident in the few areas that fear still exists in him.  i’m hopeful that he will mark these suckers right off his i’ll-get-over-this bucket list.
just like he did this weekend, which has brought all these feelings to the surface.  you see, we were swimming with a few friends this friday and my girlfriend offered to let nathan go home with her until we met back up at chick-fil-a.  we were all going to dress like cows for some free food and good fun.
i no sooner pull into chick-fil-a, and i spot this curly headed kid with a solid white face and a black nose.  it might sound silly to any other parent reading this, but i was fighting back happy tears in that moment.  that kid was nathan!!  every year, every festival, every fair, every kid-friendly church function, and every halloween, i see all these kids sitting in a chair wearing the most gigantic smile while they get their face painted.  
i always ask nathan to see if he might change his mind, and he always says, “no thank you.”.  it’s really not a big deal but i just didn’t want him afraid to do it.  i knew he’d love it.  
and i was right.  i was blown away when i saw him.  i said to julie, “how did you get him to do this?”, and she said that he said no at first but after he watched his buddies get all cow’d up, he didn’t want to be left out.
atta boy.  way to get over another little fear.  
then the very next day our church had it’s annual summer picnic (which was so much fun!!), and we usually have it at the same park every year.  never have we had a face painter as one of the activities but we did this year.  and it couldn’t have landed on a better weekend.  my boy marched his little, i-get-my-face-painted-cause-i’m-cool-like-that self right over to the lady and asked for “a t-rex on my leg please.”
and he freaking loved it.   
and just like that, brother gets his legs painted on too.  BOOM!
my girlfriend has no clue how thankful i am for her right now.  i could just kiss her right on the lips.  now she is determined to help me get him over his fear of dogs.  and since she has a dog, i’m going to let her tackle this one.  
next up after dogs…bugs.  
i’m so thankful that i changed my perspective in parenting a while back.  nathan will never be compared to others.  i don’t require him to get his face painted, or to not be afraid of dogs and bugs.  i will just supply him with plenty of opportunities to conquer those small victories.
the only thing i really require, is that he’s happy.
and he is!!
i’m so glad that God picked me to be nathan’s mommy.  
pause button please!!
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1 Comment

  • k.mart

    That last picture of Nathan is gorgeous. God has blessed you with such a beautiful, beautiful family! And reading about your Mom's response in the post below is so challenging to me. May I have the strength and attitude that finds such gladness too. Love you!

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