I always wanted four boys and when Bethany, Krista and I would play our silly teenage "what if" games, 4 was always in the list of things I hoped to have some day. I had a lot of dreams and a good many of those dreams either never came to fruition or did come to fruition and then were obliterated later. However, my dream of having 4 boys not only came true, but far surpassed anything I could have imagined.
I had all these ideas about how I wanted to guide my kids one day when I had them and raise them to be men. What I didn't realize is how much those boys that I hoped for and dreamed about would teach me. Endless... the flow of ideas, considerations, understanding that comes from each of them. They are open books and the things that flow from their hearts change the people around them for the better.
As Mother's Day was celebrated yesterday, I couldn't help but reflect on the fact that while we were celebrating the women who have mothered us, or were being celebrated as a mother, the celebration inside my heart was largely in thankfulness for the humans I get to learn from, the ones who made me a mom. These humans teach me every day about love, truth, hope, but they also show endurance, perseverance, strength, courage and vulnerability in all the right ways. They have a strength built from kindness, and hope built through trial and hardship, a wisdom forged from fire, but perhaps more importantly a humility that has been created by succeeding and thriving through the darkest storm(s).
And they make me laugh all the time. Kelton saw a brand new Dodge dually pickup. It was a flashy red and I could see him eyeing it. He looked at me and said, "You know Mom, I really like that truck. I mean, it's just super nice. But... I don't think I'd want it because it has those fat cheeks." 😂 This little brother who plays the role of older brother... he is the older brother to his older brother and he does it incredibly well. He loves Lochlan fiercely, guides him, corrects him, challenges him, encourages him and is infinitely patient with him. He has a tough job because there are times when being a little larger could come in handy, especially in this role.
Declan is constantly engineering complicated creations from wood, styrofoam, plastic, cardboard and even flour. He has an incredible mind for utilizing what he has at hand to build amazing things. He appreciates the smallest gestures of kindness in others and sees the best in people (except for maybe Kelton, whom he tends to annoy and pester in dutiful fashion as the older but not oldest brother). If you need love or reassurance as a human, he's your guy. You will feel better about all of life if you spend a little quality time with this amazing man.
Lochlan is essentially a 5 year old trapped in a 10 year old body. We have seen a tremendous amount of development in him these past couple of months. Take all the 5 year old naughties and you've got this boy. He's a stinker, has a funny sense of humor, a devilish twinkle in his eye and a knack for finding everything mischievous that he can imagine to do. He knows all of our special buttons and loves to push them, hovering in the background quietly waiting to see our reactions to whatever stinky activity he's recently completed and then giggling when we do indeed react as he had hoped. He's a snuggle bunny and will never pass up an opportunity to climb into our bed, wiggling underneath the covers, placing his freezing cold toes against us and wrapping himself around us. Pretty much adorable. I love seeing the growth in him and though each new season brings with it new challenges, they're worth facing as we watch him morph and develop.
Madigan is such a man. He has been building robots for his brothers out of scrap wood. They're quite incredible! He also transformed a wooden boat shelf into a fully functioning boat for his stuffed animals (who responsibly wear life vests in their boating activities). He is a fabulous giver of gifts, always taking time to build gifts that reflect his knowledge of the person. He leads this band of bros with enthusiasm and sometimes a little too much authority. :-) He likes order and quite naturally helps to manage the intrinsically chaotic environment of 6 people living in a one bedroom house. He's a force of nature with a kindness that runs to his core. He loves people without expectation and without condition. He forgives easily and completely. He works hard with little complaint and wakes up late every morning. He loves to look at the stars and go on dates. I adore him to pieces.
So, my four boys, thank you for being you. These days I treasure and hold in my heart.