It is not in my nature to do cutesy things. I avoid cheesy things like a vegan & I hate a cliché. But with you & your brother fresh off to your new French-speaking school, I’ve let my guard down & all bets are off. Because, spoiler alert: you don’t speak French yet & language learning is HARD. I put together a contingency plan should you feel confused, sad, or lonely in your brand-new environment, which included reading you the book The Kissing Hand the night before you started school. Choking back tears, I opened this precious book about a little raccoon who didn’t want to start school because he just wanted to stay home with his mama. His mama, unlike me, knew just the cutesy thing to do reassure her darling son in this new venture: she would kiss his hand before they parted ways so he could press it up against his cheek when he needed reminding about how much his mama loves him. The kiss would travel from his hand to his heart so he couldn’t forget his mama’s love. And I’m guessing that her kiss couldn’t possibly get lost or washed off until she gave him another one, but I’ll never know. Because 4 pages in to that sticky sweet moment, you looked square in my eyes & said you didn’t want to read THIS! RACCOON! BOOK! anymore & that I could read it ALL! BY! MY! SELF!
So, nah to the cutesy for you too? I won’t make that mistake again!
It’s been another big year for our family. We have traveled from the UK to all over the American southeast to East Africa & Europe then back to East Africa before settling in Central Africa. You have called 7 places home in the past 12 months, never concerning yourself with anything more than your blanket & a mama hair when your head hit that new pillow. Not until this most recent move to Chad, which was when you started saying you wanted to go “home.” I do wish I had 5 minutes’ access into that rapidly developing brain of yours because I would be fascinated to know where on God’s green earth you consider home.
You show immense potential for being a leader with a big heart for justice. You don’t like it when people aren’t being good listeners, when others disobey, or when there’s no regard for the rules. Funny little reparation system you have there, because apparently these laws apply to everyone but you. Probably the biggest current event in our home is when you yell “YOU’RE FIRED!!!!” at daddy & me after getting a spanking. I dare say you would make it through one morning without chocolate milk before realizing you made a big mistake firing us. Also: is this a good time to remind you that calling people “stupid head” is doing nothing for your review ratings? Who let you watch Sponge Bob anyway?! Grandaddy??
If we’re all being honest here, I’ve spent most of this past year being mad at you. Raising you requires a lot of things that also aren’t in my nature. I’m easily angered in the moments when you need my patience. I’m tempted to shout when you need me to speak gently. Sometimes I totally lose it when you need me to be controlled. And so, the irony is not lost on me that you love to water our trees. Taking care of vegetation (kids) that is vulnerable to the desert sun (life) demands a steady flow of vigor & sacrifice. You teach me so clearly as you struggle through our sandy yard with that giant water hose: I’ve got to keep on pouring out. My own parents will probably stroke out hearing me have this revelation, because little Mr. Big Feelings: I am raising a tiny version of myself. There, dad, are you happy?
Please keep on asking to use Shepherd’s “wash mouth” after brushing your teeth & never EVER stop craving a “really really great story” at bedtime. Stay this squishy forever, but PLEASE: put your freaking shoes back on before going into public toilets & stop bullying up on babies.
Love you forever & late again as per,