Today, he becomes six years old.
Six years he's melted my heart minute by minute.
Wilder's steps toward becoming a mini adult are no longer itty bitty steps, but longer strides...those strides that make a mother's heart swell and burst with pride, but break with a longing to keep that baby safe forever. It is very much a dueling feeling, where I feel that at any moment, I'm going to have the rug pulled out from under me, stumble onto the ground, and once I've my bearings about me, brushed the dirt off my clothes, he is walking down the driveway toward his beater car jumbled with hand-me-down furniture, a fancy Apple computer, new school clothes, $200 in his pocket til next payday, and a college journey ahead.
It both hurts and heals my heart to see my children grow. I'm never able to actually see the power of love that lies within my spirit. If I were to see it it I would likely be surprised at its enormity. I know it is huge and overwhelming and formidable and impermeable. I can't help but think that watching Wilder, Story, and Truman turn into pretty awesome human beings is a way that I get to see, in a roundabout way, a few effects of my love & training, and of God's deep love and care for them, too.
I started blogging when I was pregnant with Wilder. So much has happened in our lives since then and I'd never dream this is where we would be. But one thing remains, as it habitually, relentlessly, does: LOVE. Love is what carries us through the long, challenging days, the parenting struggles, the exhausting schedules. Love is what brings magic at night, where we lie there with flashlights and giggle at our shadows on the wall. Love is what compels me to work on my own heart, so I can impact Wilder's for the better. Love helps us find grace. Love helps us find the Lord. Love intertwines our lives with other people's so we can raise our children in community. Love creates a defense and covering over our homes--against the enemy and His attempts to destroy. Love caresses our pains, stills our tears, deflects our fears.
And love has brought Wilder to the landing spot of age six, so, so beautifully. He is such a caring, sensitive, intelligent child and I am more proud of him than I could ever express with words. I'm sure parents known exactly what I mean. He's the cherry on top of my sundae, and I will forever adore him.
Mamas out there, as you send your children off to school, perhaps dreading the new schedule, or rejoicing at newfound free time, I urge you to prioritize your children when it comes to building meaningful relationship with them. Open up your heart to your children and let them see your silliness and vulnerability. Teach them lessons you wish you would have known. Your past failures or failures on your nuclear family's part have no place in your new legacy.
Put your phones down and color with your babies for a little while. They will love seeing you color and will probably say really hilarious things during the process. Don't rush through bedtime stories--use funny voices for the differing characters. Make them ants on a log for a snack and chocolate chip pancakes for weekend breakfast.
Unfortunately, we won't get this time back. We get one shot, you know?
You see, just like that I've brushed my clothes of the dust of life, looked up, and seen my firstborn, with his beautiful dimples, bruised tooth, and wiry cowlick--well, I've seen him turn six.
My sweet Wilder, never change. Unless it is to become more like Christ. You are the sun.
Happy Birthday Wilder Raine!