We were snuggled under his favorite blanket. It’s a soft fleece covered with woodland creatures. A Christmas gift from my mom, because the theme in Graham’s room is No Theme. Monsters, robots, Angry Birds, dinosaurs, VeggieTales, trains, animals, Mario. He just fills it with things he loves.
Yes, there are too many things. We’re working on that, but finding the middle ground between allowing him absolute freedom and rushing in there with trash bags while he’s at Great Grandma’s house. We want to respect his need to keep certain things, while teaching him that we don’t need to keep everything. We desire to give him the tools he needs to be better than things and consumerism and materialism. But we can’t control him either. He’s a little person growing into a bigger person. Not our little robot who needs a perfect room to make us feel great when friends come over.
We were snuggled up really close, after a wonderfully long week of VBS and his best friend’s birthday party. Dave had already gone over his teeth. I was about to finish bedtime prayers. Graham always starts and then asks me to wrap it up with anything he’s missed. Apparently I’m a mind reader.
“Mama, life is too hard sometimes.”
“What in your life feels too hard right now?”
“Well, sometimes we gotta do hard fings. Fings dat are way too hard for us to do alone. I wish we had no hard fings in life.”
“Hard things make us better people. Hard things teach us patience, waiting, courage, perseverance, and trusting that God is always there to help us. And Jesus did lots of hard things. Doing hard things makes us more like Jesus.”
“Well, my hard fing is too hard even for God. It’s just too hard. It’s Capture Da Flag. I’m hurr-ible at it. At Thatcher’s party, I couldn’t even do it. I prayed to God to give me Capture Da Flag skills wight away, but it didn’t happen. I fink I’m gonna have to pwactice and get better from hard work. I just want life and Capture Da Flag to be easy sometimes. Life is too hard to be bad at Capture Da Flag, too. I wanna be a better person, but I weally just wanna be gweat at Capture Da Flag! It’s so uh-portant in life.”
“Do you want me to pray that you will have the strength and patience to practice Capture the Flag?”
“Yes. And pway dat I also just wake up better at it. Jesus healed da blind man. He can give me sport skills, too.”
I prayed it. Then kissed Graham’s cheek that was clean from bathtime and showed no evidence of my lackluster attempt at ‘Blue Monster Guy’ facepainting. He kissed my cheek. We exchanged “I Love Yous” and I tripped over 17 things on my way out. Each item holding great significance to my 6.75-year-old favorite boy.