I have always been a very proud mama. I recall how I felt the first time Connor sat up on his own and when he took his first steps. I remember being proud when he learned how to ride a bike and when he learned how to (really) swing a bat. Well, that time was less about pride than it was about sheer pain from the impact of the bat striking the side of my face shortly thereafter. #dontsittooclosemom
It’s hard to describe, though, how the feelings associated with that pride change over time. Because I think they do. This past week, for instance, we had parent/teacher conferences. We walked into Mrs. Vendeville’s classroom and sat at the tiny chairs across from her. After exchanging ‘hi, how are you’s’ and stories of remote living, her demeanor shifted as she said, “What a fun kid. What an excellent kid.” It wasn’t long after that I started to tear up as she shared how much she enjoys having Connor in her classroom.
I know that a lot of people think very highly of Connor. He’s a very smart, very good-natured, very fun-to-be-around kid. But she shared something that hasn’t been as evident to others in his circle. She related stories of Connor’s assistance to some of the students in class who may not have as many friends as he does; those who feel no one wants to help them. She even shared how he basically threw a game to let one of those same classmates win.
Ok. How cool is that?!
Children are selfish by nature. Heck, many adults are. I have my moments, too, of course. But when you start to see that selfishness take a backseat to generosity and thinking outside oneself, well, I’m here to tell you it makes your heart want to burst right out of your chest.
Mrs. V. gave us a slew of papers and talked about his grades, but I couldn’t help but hold on to those earlier comments. I’ve seen him really grow these past few months. He hugs more willingly and he rarely lets me open my car door (for a while it was challenging for me, so I think it became a habit). He tells me he loves me at almost the exact time I always need to hear it and he lets me sing loudly in the car without rolling his eyes at all (I don’t think). When he prays, he is less concerned about himself having a ‘good day tomorrow’, but tends to focus on those who are hurting or families that we know are in need of prayer.
Today as we arrived at soccer practice, I snapped this photo. He’d taken off his seatbelt and shimmied in between the two front seats wearing this angelic little look. No, he is not an angel as we would typically define an angel. He makes lots of mistakes like all of us do. But, he is my messenger from above; that reminder that I do have a purpose here if for nothing else than to witness the amazing future this excellent kid has ahead of him.