Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boys to men

We recently attended our neighborhood's annual picnic in the park--live jazz band, free face-painting and balloons for the kids, and free homemade ice cream from Pajama Baking Company (the cutest nearby coffee/ice cream/pastry/sandwich shop--I can walk there from my house!  I sometimes meet a girlfriend there for coffee and scones, although I really think I need to try some of their other food because it looks positively amazing.) 

The above picture cracks me up because it reflects Yosef and Biniam's relationship and respective personalities well.  (The face-paint actually reflects their temperaments too.  Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the face-painter was a psychic.  No joke.  A full-time psychic.  Well, when she's not painting faces, apparently.)

It's hard to believe that my sons are already five years old...nearly SIX years old...and they are just seeming so grown up to me lately.  They unload the groceries from my car and bring them into the house.  They help Kevin move furniture and work on household projects.  They look after their younger sisters.  They do laundry.  They can write their names.  They're about to start Kindergarten.  Sheesh.

It's also hard to believe that my sons were, at one time, living in an orphanage.  Unfathomable, really.  Because they're my sons, and their life in Ethiopia seems a lifetime away.  They're growing up, and growing into some pretty awesome young men.  Having adopted children is such a deep, tangible reminder of God's hand on an individual life, on an individual child's life.  If I stop to think about it, and I do on occasion, I know that who my children are has something to do with me, but not everything.  Not even close, actually.  My boys have kind and compassionate hearts, but I certainly wasn't there to comfort them and love them and teach them to love for those fourteen-plus months that they spent in three different orphanages.  God has brought them so far and has, in so many ways, protected their sweet, tender hearts.  Kept them believing that they deserve love, and that they have love to give.  He gave them hope.

And they are growing up. 

And I am not sure how I feel about the whole matter.

But time won't stand still (even though it feels like it when you're in WalMart buying school supplies, and your tired nine-month-old is screaming and crying while you're frantically searching for a pack of twenty-four number-two pencils that are already sharpened, and your three year old has decided to take off her rainboots that she insisted on wearing on a sunny, 90-degree-day), and I am just so excited about who my boys are becoming.  Someday they'll be men.  Today they're still boys.  But they're growing up.

So I'm savoring the moments and delighting in these last days before Kindergarten begins, and enjoying my helpful, happy, love-filled sons.  I don't fancy myself a great "mom-to-boys" (perhaps another topic for another time?  Do YOU feel like you're better at parenting one gender over another?  Yes, definitely worthy of its own blogpost), but I'm finding such joy these days in raising my young men.  Boys are different than girls, and there are some unique amazing-ness-es (yes that is a word, because I just made it up) to be found in having sons.

Especially when they're as much fun as Yosef and Biniam are. 

And now I need to go indulge in candy and soda some sort of comfort food, because just remembering our day at Walmart has me stressed out all over again.  I DID eventually find the pencils.  I did NOT find some type of pen that I couldn't find last year either.  Hopefully the homeschool program won't notice.  I guess I'll keep looking.  Mary eventually fell asleep in the Ergo and Kaitlyn put her boots back on before we went out to the parking lot--but on the wrong feet. 

Yeah, okay, I'm heading for the fridge.


Rachel said...

pre-sharpened pencils? Really? Yeah, I told Aubrey's teacher that I don't have pre-sharpened pencils since I don't have $50 POWER SHARPENER AT HOME. She laughed, thankfully. I would be more than happy to donate 3 minutes before or after school one day to rectify that though. This school supply thing is bizarre!

Brianna Heldt said...

Rachel heehee! Each Kindergartner is supposed to provide 12 sharpened pencils (so I would need 24). I don't have a fancy schmancy sharpener either, so I buy them presharpened. And, I know. I did find the type of pen (papermate flair or something?) at Safeway last night--but it was a huge pack for $6! I only needed one, and I didn't want to spend the money, so I didn't buy 'em.


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