I took this picture of my Siah the other day. He was at a ranch down the road helping Jeff and Debbie brand and vaccinate this year's yearlings.
My boy is growing into a man before my very eyes.
Look at him.
He's getting so strong and tall. There is so much going on in his amazing heart. He longs to be grown up, but he's fighting through so many boyhood things. He's a control freak like his mom. I am praying with all my might that the Lord works that out in him now and he doesn't have to spend a huge portion of his adult life trying to lay that need for control down, like his mom has been battling since the day he was born.
This boy struggles.
But I see him willing to fight.
I see him humbling himself when he's wrong. I see him tense up when I'm correcting him (because he doesn't like the feeling of being wrong, he's kind of a perfectionist in that sense), and then softening his heart to my correction after I've given him a few minutes to process.
I see him pouring over the Bible first thing in the morning and the last thing before he turns out the light at night. I see him thinking ahead and overflowing with a willingness to work hard to achieve his goals. I have this wonderful privilege of listening to all his questions about life and God and friends and hard things. I feel grateful that I get to talk with him through all his "why" questions. I rarely have brilliant answers, but I'm thinking that maybe the conversations are more important than the answers.
My boy is in between boy and man and some days him and I both find ourselves at a loss at how to walk through life together. There are days when he feels like I don't understand him and there are days when I feel like he doesn't really understand me and my heart towards him. I don't blame him. I'm not always the best communicator and my tone can sometimes be the very thing that turns him away.
It's so strange how easy it is to write about crazy toddlers and their fit-pitching, drawing on the walls, peeing on a brother's pillow just because you felt like it years.
But the preteen/teen years?
Nobody write about those.
In some ways I understand why. As my kids grow, their stories are becoming their own, and they are stories that can be told at a later time when the hardest days have been conquered and their growing hearts have become comfortable with who God has made them to be. There will be a day when they discover their nitch and they begin to use their gifts for God's glory. Someday we'll get over the awkward bump in the road that these preteen years bring and my boy-man will be a full grown MAN and I believe with all my heart that the hard work it is taking to walk through these years will be worth every tear shed, every discussion had, and every prayer prayed.
In the meantime, I really am grateful for the privilege of walking alongside this incredible gift of mine.