Five! This is, like, out of the toddler world. He’s a kid now. Five.
I heard a message once about the work of a mother (well, parent really), starting from birth, is to prepare the child to go out into the world. Parenting is a process of releasing. From crawling, to walking, to dressing themselves… these are part of the process of releasing them into the world.
Here we are, another step of sending. Right now it’s into the hands of a small class of other 4- and 5-year olds; next year it’s onto a big bus of elementary students. He fills hours each day and week with people other than his sisters and parents, learning and becoming and… going.
The past several birthdays marked how he has developed and become who he is. Today seems to lean me toward who he is becoming. He’s just a little guy, sensitive and soft-spoken. He’s big-hearted and compassionate. He finds joy in simple, natural things. He’s becoming a young person, someday a man, who will honor others with these qualities.
World, be gentle with him. Please? No need to coddle him or make exceptions. But can we just all agree to be kind? To encourage him to be bold and courageous and brave but also to be understanding and compassionate when he reveals that he is less than perfect? If I’m not around, can you show him the direction toward higher living, where everyone is honored and we don’t seek only our own best interests? When he gets confused and forgets who he is, would you please hand him a mirror and remind him that he’s a child of God, valued and purposed?
To you, dear reader, he might just be another curly-headed boy; to me he’s the world. Or a quarter of it. He’s my past, present and future all balled up and tossed into orbit, my contribution to making the world more like Jesus intended it.
Please, please, please. I’ll send him out. But can you promise to try and be kind? He’s a gentle soul.