i’m gonna pretend like i’ve been blogging this entire hiatus and just skip right into this current post. and if you’re my friend or my mother-in-law, you’ve heard this already…i wanted to journal it because it was such a beautiful moment between the Lord and me and I want to remember it forever.
“Hai fwends. Hai fwends.”, Caleb says as he waves frantically. He’s standing on the second story of the climbing structure at the park and his left hand is sticking through a gap in the guard rails.
Still waving, he turns to me and says, “Mawm, my fwends are running.”
I turn to see who/what he is referring to and two 8 year old boys are, indeed, running around throwing a football back and forth about 200 yards from us.
“Yes, sweetie, your friends are running”, I said aloud.
most sweetest and precious baby boy, those boys are not really your friends. They probably have no idea you exist.
My eyes began to scan the park. It was a chilly afternoon, the temperature somewhere in the 50’s, and there were a few groups of children scattered throughout. 4 young teenagers loitered around the swingset. A man and his 7 year old son rode by on bikes wearing matching helmets. A stroller was parked by a bench with a newborn wrapped in blankets and a coat, face barely visible, just enough to see her eyes were closed. The baby’s mom was leaned over her book on her lap with her legs crossed, enjoying a minute to herself.
No one for caleb to play with today.
I turn back to my squealing 2.5 year old who has found the slide and is requesting my presence. I sigh and climb the stairs. He has somehow regressed in the sliding department. If there is a starting height above 3 ft then he refuses to reach the ground by sliding. I somehow manage to get my hips through the bridge opening and squat to place my big boy and my babe in my lap. Caleb holds my ankles and my left arm is around his chest while my right is around T. We start winding down the slide, static crawling through our hair on our scalps and arms. We reach the exit and our feet hit the ground.
“Hey fwends!!”, Caleb says and waves to the teenage girls sitting in the swings. They are kind and return a few smiles.
Oh, Lord, please give him friends. Friends are his favorite so please give him many.
My vision blurs from tears and I’m thankful there is enough sun so my sunglasses are an acceptable accessory. I stand and head toward a nearby bench, feeling sad.
He has such a tender heart, Lord, I’m afraid it will be broken by many ‘friends’. Please protect him.
I thought back to my childhood and the progress I made with my own friends. And, how, it was a dear friend that led me to the Lord. He’s not perfect. Just earlier he was on the receiving end of a disappointing glare for not being kind to his little brother. I know he is very much capable of hurting his friends, but, as a mom, I fear he won’t even get the chance.
Lord, help me to teach him how to be a good friend so he can easily make and keep friends.
As I sat there, watching my son stare at all the older kids my heart so very much ached for him to receive some kind of acknowledgment from them. I waited patiently until my heart could no longer take it. I headed to the grass and asked Caleb if he wanted to play a game. When he finally caught up to me, I had sat T in a patch of leaves and started jogging toward a tree, begging Caleb to chase me. We ran back and forth, between the tree and T, for a solid 15 minutes. Then we sat looking at the leaves and sticks until my breathing slowed to normal. I picked up T and summoned Caleb to follow me to the stroller. Dad would be home soon and I needed to start dinner.
“Bye fwends!!”, he said to each individual group as we walked by, holding my hand.
As we strolled out of the park I was reflecting on our running ‘game’. I was thankful to be a friend to Caleb but wondered if it would always be enough for him. If he would ever feel a longing to be a part of a certain group. If he would ever be made fun of for the way he looks. I want him to feel secure and not struggle with his abilities, his upbringing.
And how God made him.
Jesus. My forever friend, my Saviour, my security. Turn his heart to thee, Lord, and send your Helper to him.
This time around there was no hiding it. I had to stop and wipe the tears away with my shirt. All the things I want for my son are only mirrored by what God wants for me.
The knowledge that He is the only thing I truly need.
That He loves me with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever Love.
That my identity is found in Christ alone.