I have a boy who puts in his own contact lenses and leaves for the weekend with a friend and his family to go watch baseball in a beautiful resort town in Colorado.
I have a boy who gets so tired from his days at day camp, aka VBS, that he needs to be in bed by 7 pm and requires lots of mama snuggles and books to get him from 2:30 to bedtime.
I have a boy who goes from day camp to a job mowing lawn, pulling weeds, and weed whacking to a weekend away with friends with plenty of energy.
I have a boy who requests the same book over and over and needs to go in a stroller on long walks and requires my help in the bathroom.
I have a boy who emails me updates on his weekend away and takes a trip to Mexico with me to build a home with Casas por Cristo.
I have a boy whose biggest concern is what's for breakfast and how many books he can read before bed.
I have a boy who is finding his place in the world and navigating friendships and internet usage and the beginning baby steps of making his own big decisions.
I am parenting these two very different stages, plus two more in the middle, and it is beautiful and tiring, challenging and fabulous, all wrapped into one. They share a special bond, my teen and toddler, my oldest and youngest. They have a special handshake and elbow bumps and hugs before bed, books read cuddled on couches and beds and baseball in the front yard, a tackle game that no one else understands and a love of bopping the balloon. Seeing them together for the first time almost 4 years ago sent me right over the edge of love and amazement, and seeing them now only confirms that God gave us just what we needed when our cuatro joined the family.
There are times that both of them are crabby. At the same time, you guys. Toddler and teen crabbies at the same time are not cool. Hormones and toddler-iness are more than a person should have to handle in the same 30 second period. I mean, the audacity of these boys! Those are the times I want to hide in the bathroom until things calm down out in the wild habitat of my living room, but that really isn't a long-term solution. So I wade in and do my best to handle the situations without joining them in crazy town. Sometimes I succeed and other times I take the short and well-worn highway to crazy town until one of us finds our footing and sets us on the path back to the land of chill.
We're all learning. We're all finding our way. These boys of mine will be men someday. I take that responsibility tremendously seriously. For one of them, that day is fast approaching, which makes me so proud and also so prone to vomiting. For the other, I'm thinking solo bathroom trips will precede the transition to manhood, so we have a few more years. Thank goodness.
At any rate, being mama to these boys is one of life's greatest honors. My teen and my toddler. My oldest and youngest. Two pieces of my heart and soul walking around on earth for all the world to love and wound. What a gift.