On turning 8 years old

by arianne

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He woke me up today around 5am telling me he had fallen out of his bed while asleep. I told him it was his first birthday present, the tumble was, and he snorted and giggled because he’s the one with the best sense of humor. I prayed for him a bit and sent him back to bed alone, no need to tuck him in anymore, because he’s just that old now. I held on extra long when I hugged him, though, because it’s a little bittersweet along with that freedom to just fall back asleep, knowing he can get back to bed on his own.

Then he woke me up again a couple hours later showing me a picture of our front yard, entirely TP’d just for him with a Happy Birthday sign right outside our door. We still don’t know who did it, but I wonder if that person (people?) know how extremely special it made my newly-minted 8 yr old feel. He is the sensitive one, the middle child one, the guy who often feels a bit invisible. I often think about how much God knew he’d need his birthday to come first before his big brother’s comes next week so he could feel special first for once. All morning he keeps saying, “I can’t believe someone thought I was THAT special!”, and my mama heart explodes once again.

He is the one built like me, so he now is old enough to notice that his brothers are built like daddy and wonder why he, who eats the very best in the whole family, has to feel about his body at this young age that it’s not perfect. We’re working on that one, because I know where he gets those feelings too…

For one whole week his brother is 9 and he is 8 and the playing field is leveled a bit. Sometimes they talk about what it would be like if one of the three of them were not here, were never born, and they get emotional and cry and then 5 minutes later are arguing and punching again.

I watch the life of three boys slowly turn into young men and I can hardly breathe for how much they mean to me. Raising men – there’s hardly a bigger assignment. Raising good men – oh Lord, please help me. Raising good God loving men – oh Lord, please let me.

Today 8 is a really big deal to this little man, and I’m so honored to raise up this little soul. He someday will grace another little family with his charm and unique view of the universe, his own family, but for now — we get him for a bit longer.

Happy birthday, Jamie Reed. xoxo

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