Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dear Will

Dear William, I wish you were old enough to understand a thank you note. If you were, I would write you one. I often tell you thank you for obeying, I definitely don't hold back with your praise, but if I could write you a thank you note, this is what it would say: 

Thank you for setting a tone in our home of obedience and compliance. Your resounding,"OK, I will!" is often heard after I give you a task. Yes, you are still a four-year-old boy who struggles with arguing and controlling his impulses, but in general you seem to demonstrate a healthy fear of authority that reacts with sensitivity to my instruction and reproof. Barrett, who often laughs at these same entreaties, sometimes seems to be lacking in this fear, and I wonder how he would be if he didn't have an older brother, whom he adores and desires to copy, to pave the way for him. Last night, while I was finishing up a kitchen project before bed, you asked to get out Candyland wheel and the two of you sat there attempting to play it by yourselves, four-year-old William and two-year-old Barrett. You patiently instructed Barrett how to play. It warmed my heart more than you'll ever know. Yesterday, many times you asked me to play with you. It was a very busy day (we had just gotten home from Montana the night before) and I simply couldn't say 'yes' every time. At one point, I did sit down to play, but mostly I had to say 'no.' I'm sorry, buddy. Please don't stop asking.

While we were in Montana, Mr. Justin was making conversation with you and asked you if you liked guns, bows, and arrows, and you responded in the affirmative. "What do you like to shoot?" he asked. 

"I like to shoot my bow and arrow," you replied. 

"Do you like to shoot rabbits?" he asked eagerly. 

Decisively, with a surprised little laugh, you responded, "No!" 

"Why not??" asked Mr. Justin. 

"Because that would hurt them!" 

He laughed and turned away saying, "Will, I give up on you." You laughed again to yourself at the silly idea of shooting those cute rabbits. I know it might be confusing that daddy has to shoot the chipmunks because they keep eating away under our walkways, and I was just so proud in that moment that you demonstrated that kindness. Later, I asked Daddy what he thought of your response. He shrugged and said, "I don't want him to be shooting rabbits. I don't want to shoot rabbits. I don't kill things just to kill things." I don't know why that story stands out in my mind but I had to put it on this blog. William, you made me happy in that moment.

Anyway, thank you. I am researching curricula and options for homeschooling you for kindergarten next year, and I just already know that when you sit down to do school with me, you will do it with a willing heart. And Barrett, watching you, will do the same Lord willing when it is his turn. Who knows how he would respond if he didn't have you to emulate? You are a wonderful boy. I'm so proud of you. On the way home from Montana you were a gem, and Barrett was a gem, and both of you made it easy to deal with Neva, who was an overtired baby stuck in a car seat for 27 hours with the beginnings of a cold. William, I love you so much! I know that much of my days spent correcting you, and I hope that you will read through the lines to know that my heart is overjoyed that you are my son.

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