Our Bug is nine today. But, don’t tell him I called him that publicly. Apparently, he’s not a fan of his nickname anymore (cue tears). I haven’t really heeded his preference, though, but thankfully, I seem to get a pass. Everyone else gets a scowl.
He’s definitely moving out of little boy territory. This tough kid who has always been a little on the huskier side and snuggly and sweet, is now tall and lanky, and not as interested in sitting close, and not so quick to tell me I’m beautiful…among other things.
This has been a rough year for this sensitive son of mine, and it shows – tears come to my eyes just thinking about it – and I think his defense is to internalize and push away and just not notice much of the good around him. I wish I could say that I’ve figured out how to make everything better for him, but I haven’t. It’s a process, I guess.
In the meantime, he is still our goofball, who tries so hard to make jokes out of everything. He is our athlete – the only one of our kids who comes close to beating me in a sprint (okay, I know that beating me doesn’t necessarily make him an “athlete”, but you know, comparatively). He’s great at math and great with tools. He’s still observant and still tenderhearted. He can make waffles and scrambled eggs like a pro, and will eat whatever he’s given without hesitation, even though he would “rather not eat” most foods.
So, we’re here at his ninth birthday and I’m thankful it’s only nine and not nineteen. I’m thankful for a another nine years (at least) of opportunity to remind him of how precious he is, of how capable he is, of how God sees him, and of how he should see himself. I’m thankful that there’s refining happening in him even now and that we get to help him through these things, and to teach him to run to God for help, and to give him big bear hugs even when he pretends to not want them. I’m just so, so thankful for Nathanael today. I treasure this boy, and the privilege it is to be his mom.