My son is growing up before my eyes. Of course that's the point of parenting, but I had one of those "What happened to yesterday" moments recently with Grant.
Wasn't it yesterday that I was nestled in our over-stuffed, leather chair in a sleep-deprived, new-love euphoric state, reading 80-page Winnie The Pooh classic tales to my 5-day-old who was snoozing in my lap? I was living a dream come true and couldn't wait to read a story to my OWN baby, even if he didn't comprehend a single word.
Last night as a joke, Grant tried to curl into a ball and crawl in my lap, pretending to be a baby while I read stories to Paige. His head, shoulders and chest slammed against my chest. The rest of his lanky body sprawled all over our beat-up coffee table and depleted couch in the toy room. We giggled as we "fed" him a drink from a sippy cup and burped him to stop his crying. Paige stared at me in wide-eyed wonder as I recounted the good old days of Grant's infancy. It had never occurred to her that her big brother had once been a tiny baby.
Wasn't it last week that we put him on the bus with all the other early-elementary students for the first time, dwarfed by his larger-than-life backpack? But this morning at the bus stop, he towered over the "little" kids and he doesn't even have to lean forward anymore to avoid toppling over backwards from his now-normal-looking-sized backpack.
Wasn't it yesterday that I was in the trenches, doing my best to raise four little ones, each with different temperments, and seeing my lack of success in out-of-control bursts of rage from my very stubborn first-born son? But next week Grant turns eight, and the son before my eyes is one who consistently prays for Holy- Spirit-strength to have self control and be kind to his sisters and his friends. His heart is so soft, tender and honest that he nightly confesses poor choices and impure thoughts, even if he hasn't acted on them. I wish my heart was as moldable as his.
Wasn't it yesterday that I couldn't bribe him to pick up his toys or put anything away EVER? The days of constantly tripping over toys loomed like a mountain I would never summit. Today, Grant is overly responsible, meticulously caring for and cataloging his personal belongings and adhering strictly to his self-imposed morning routine to make sure he doesn't have to rush to catch the bus.
Grant has both the privilege and disadvantage of being the first-born. All of our parenting "firsts" happened with him, for better or worse. And in spite of our screw-ups and experimenting, God is growing up before our eyes, a son who loves God and loves people.
Yesterday was a sweet memory. Today is a beautiful answer to prayer.