Owen is asleep on the couch. He is in such a stage of growth and maturity right now. His 7 years are strained by the wisdom he displays at times. He often melts my heart with his insights and concern for others.
Other times he just acts goofy and I know he’s not ready to move out on his own any time soon.
Today I watched him calm my frustration. His poor tummy had him all twisted up and I had no idea he was sick until he came pummeling up the front steps and threw himself against the front door unable to open it fast enough and crying loudly enough for me to hear him and run to his aid. I got the door open and was able to almost finish the sentence, “What’s wrong?” when he stuck his head as far into the foyer as possible and “spilled the graham crackers” all over my floor.
I was stunned. I knew that I should feel bad for him, that he probably needed some sympathy, but all I could say was, “It’s okay to do that in the grass, you know.”
I spent the next 20 minutes mopping up, wiping down, and inspecting everything within three yards of impact for splashes and smudges. It wasn’t pleasant, but every time I felt the frustration getting the better of me he would come around the corner and say something. First it was, “I ate too much junk food mom. That’s all. I don’t need to eat any more junk food tonight because I had too much at the party on Friday. It’s just really hard to say no. I mean, at first it’s just soooo good and then, well…” He nodded as if I knew exactly what that “well” should mean. Of course I did.
Then as I’m loading my front door mat, his shoes, my pants and socks, his jacket and gloves and a few other splattered items into the washer he came up behind me and announced, “my temperature is 96.7 mom. What does that mean?” He had the ear thermometer and was taking his temperature to make sure he didn’t have a fever.
Then while I was looking for another laundry basket he told me that he’s just going to put his pajamas on since he might want to lay down. When I finished mopping the foyer I found him curled up on the couch, completely out.
A bit of calm and respect came over me as I realized that as aggravating as it is to clean up that mess, to smell that smell, to wish I could have told him sooner to just leave that outside, I was blessed. This little man had taken care of himself. Yes, he still needed me to pick up the messy pieces, but he had looked the situation over and found a way to walk himself into the warmth of clean clothes, a cozy blanket and the rest that he needed without any assistance from me at all.
I am pretty proud of my young warrior tonight.