Reminders From My Oldest

“I know who I want to marry”, he said.

He wasn’t joking.  He has told us who.  Even told us why he wants to marry her.  It’s simple really.

“I just do.  She’s my friend.  I like playing with her.  I have fun with her.”

Let me be clear.  My son came up with this all by himself.  We are very intentional about not talking about having a girlfriend, not even in a joking manner.  He’s five!  Discussions about dating and related topics will be discussed age appropriately as they are brought up or it’s deemed necessary.  The only reference we have ever made to such relationship has been in the context of family members {my sister, cousins, etc.} who are in dating relationships.  So you can imagine we were quite surprised when he announced that he’s picked a wife.

I admit.  This whole thing is rather cute.  But apart from the cuteness of it all I was reminded of a few things.

  1. It is important to have fun with your spouse.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his answer as to why he wanted to marry her but it wasn’t her outward beauty {although she is adorable}, it wasn’t what she has or doesn’t have.  It was simply that he enjoys her, he has fun with her.  She’s his friend.  Friendship with your spouse is so important.  Friendship is what keeps you connected.  Your spouse should be your best friend.  In a post on the Resurgence website Pastor Mark Driscoll says, “when both spouses make a deep, heartfelt covenant with God to continually seek to become a better friend, the marriage is marked by ever-increasing longing and love.”  Driscoll and his wife, Grace, speak a great deal about friendship with your spouse in their book Real Marriage.  If you don’t already own a copy, you should.  It has been a valuable resource for Derek and I.  Ladies, for some practical tips on friendship with your husbands check out this Mars Hill Church blog post:  7 Ways to Enjoy Friendship with Your Husband.
  2. Cultivate open communication in the home.  I want to be having these same conversations in ten, fifteen, twenty years from now.  When my boys are dating.  When they are seriously considering marriage.  I want them to feel the freedom to talk to us about dating and girls.  I want them to feel comfortable asking us questions about marriage.  I don’t want them to have any fear about talking openly and candidly with Derek and I.  I pray that the Lord would help us cultivate that sort of atmosphere in our family.  We are not here to be their best friends but we are here to teach, train, and nurture them.  I want my boys to know that they can tell me or ask me anything.  I don’t have a step by step on how this happens. {Wish I did.}  I do believe it involves being there.  Really being there.  Spending intentional time together.  Listening.  One way our family is intentional with our time together is Family Fun Night.  One night a week is set aside for just our family.  We watch a movie and eat popcorn, go out to eat, or play games.  The boys count down the days until Family Fun Night!
  3. Our children are watching and listening.  This whole conversation was started because of what he saw and heard about mine and Derek’s marriage.  He hears many of our conversations, he sees the way we interact with one another, he is aware of our habit of date night.  It’s easy to think that because he’s young he doesn’t quite understand it all.  I would argue that he understands and is aware of much more than we give him credit for.  I need to be mindful of this.  One day they will, Lord willing, be husbands and fathers.  We can have many “talks” but at the end of the day much of what will stick will be what they saw.  They are learning from me even when I don’t think I’m teaching them.  Like when I hear one say “what the heck?!” and I jerk my head back in shock and say “where the heck did they hear that?”  Oh yeah.  Me.  Or when the older one shows the younger one how to hold  his spoon “like Daddy does”.   As a child of God I should be imaging God to others so that they see Him and glorify Him.  This imaging God to others includes imaging God to my children.
  4. I should pray for my future daughter-in-laws {and those DIL’s husbands!}. I told the boys they had plenty of time to find a wife.  Which is true.  After all, they are only five and three.  It will be at least twenty years before either one of them tie the knot.  But chances are she has already been born.  She’s on this planet somewhere.  I must pray for her.  Pray for her heart.  Pray for their relationship.  The idea of my boys being married is crazy talk right now but I know it’ll seem like only the blink of an eye and they’ll be men.  Men.  Part of my job as a parent is to raise these boys into men.  While I pray for my daughter-in-laws I should also pray for my sons as they become men.  Men who one day may be husbands and fathers.  I pray often that my boys will “be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, and that all that they do will be done in love.” {1 Corinthians 16:13-14}  I do pray for Connor’s wife and Graham’s wife.  And in my prayers for my boys I pray for their homes and marriages.  Because one day, Lord willing, they will need to realize the importance of being best friends with their wife.  One day they’ll be navigating through parenting just as their Dad and I are doing now.

These were reminders to me, not things I’ve mastered so I’m passing them along to you.  No, I am not an expert on any of these points.  I wouldn’t need reminded if I was.  I’m learning as I go.  Learning as I fail because I do.  Daily.  Learning through, and because of, God’s grace to me. His grace upon grace.  {John 1:16}

My Saturday with Connor

I braved the harsh South Carolina winter to take Connor to his first soccer evaluation.  He was suppose to go last weekend.  I was out of town so Derek was on “soccer duty”.  Anything in the area of sports in our family is a Dad thing anyways so I was happy that Derek would be the one to do it with him.  The day before Derek took him shopping for new tennis shoes {his are lost somewhere in storage}.  Connor was so excited about starting soccer and picking out new shoes.  It was all quite cute.  Derek sent me a picture of Connor’s pick.

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Wouldn’t have been my first choice.  {Actually, wouldn’t have been a choice at all!} But when Connor called and said he picked out some new shoes and he was so excited about these “colorful shoes”, I simply couldn’t refuse.  So he was all ready.  But soccer evaluations got rained out.  Apparently it rained all weekend so the fields were just too wet.  Evaluations were postponed a week.  Unfortunately Derek had to work so it was my job to take him.  The forecast was cold.  Cloudy, chance of snow/sleet, freezing cold.  We bundled up and went. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t keep checking my inbox hoping for another postponement.

We are hardcore first year soccer people because we stood out there for almost 2 hours.  {Or maybe that’s just what you do regardless.}  We experienced all the winter weather they had forecasted.  Cold rain, sleet, and…did I mention it was cold?  My hands were numb by the end of it all.  I was a wuss but Connor didn’t complain.  Not once.  He went through his drills like a pro!   {Okay, slight exaggeration.  He’s not quite to pro level.}  He and I attributed it to his super cool neon shoes.

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My apologies for the poor picture quality.  The iPhone does fairly well but at the time I was just doing my best to get some pictures for Derek.  Spot the neon and you’ve found Connor!

After soccer we needed to get lunch.  We made it a date.  We ate at Chick-fil-A and even sat at a high top table.  {This is a big deal for Connor!  He always wants to sit there but we usually have Graham with us.  If you know Graham then you know it would be unwise…}  He isn’t always real chatty but he was yesterday.  I found out that he wants to be a “really good golfer” when he grows up.  And we debated over whether or not McDonald’s was a good place to eat.  We agreed to disagree.  Lunch ended when a waffle fry got stick in his mayonnaise.   {Yea…mayonnaise.  Another thing we have agreed to disagree on.}  He didn’t want to get his fingers dirty to get it out so he said he was done.  He makes me smile.  He can go all afternoon with peanut butter spread across each cheek, but a little mayonnaise on the tips of his fingers is just too much.

So grateful for that kid.  Proud to be his momma.