Maybe it's just me, but those Olympic commercials really got to me this year. You know, the ones that start, "What's better than being an Olympic athlete?" "Being an Olympic athlete's mom."
Then they cut to all these moms on the sidelines this year, going nuts and screaming, "THAT'S MY BABY!!"
Pretty much left me weeping in a fetal position.
This child with the heavenly smattering of freckles is my first-born. Talk about weeping in a fetal position - this kid has driven me to The Edge and left me there more times than I'd like to admit.
I remember creating a page in Greg's scrapbook when he was 3 years old and writing down his personality characteristics across the page. I hesitated and wondered if I could write, "stubborn, aggressive, exhausting, opinionated, challenging..." but instead chose words like "brave, enthusiastic, passionate, bold, curious..." to keep it positive.
I recently read this from "Mitten Strings for God" by Katrina Kenison as she described her own passionate son (see link at left) and it made me think so much of Greg:
....he has been my most demanding teacher, exposing all my weaknesses and requiring me to develop even greater fortitude. In his passionate, head-long rush into life, he has shown me exactly where my rope ends, where my patience runs out, where my edges fray, where my own outer limits really are. He has taught me that in order to be an effective and loving disciplinarian, I must first be able to control myself. He requires of me an inner strength that I don't always possess. So I work to keep my footing, for I have learned that my own quiet self-assurance, and my unwavering faith in his goodness, has a far better effect on him than my anger ever will. He has demanded of me a level of emotional steadfastness that I don't always possess. So I have had to go in search of my own deeper resources."
And I smile at that last sentence, because my "deeper resources" are found in Jesus Christ alone. This is not a solo job.
Lest I paint my first-born as all problem and no joy, let me add that Greg has a quick wit and humor that can entertain at any given moment. He is a born leader and will probably have people calling him 'sir' somewhere, someday. He is cool under pressure and loves a challenge.
One day after school last year, I was a little late getting home one afternoon to meet the boys. I pulled up just seconds after the bus, but not before he and Daniel noticed the house was empty. Daniel, uh, freaked. Tears, yelling. Greg instructed Daniel to sit down while he waved down the bus driver (she turns around at the end of our road). Greg still remembers his "heroic" duties that day.
What I love right now about Greg is that even though 9 is just around the corner, he still asks if I can lay down with him at night, tuck him in, give him all the "little boy" stuff at the end of the day. And I gladly oblige.
After all, "THAT'S MY BABY!"