Uncle Ryan is here. Today, he took Jakob and Ella to the park to play baseball, or rather, toss-drop, toss-swing. I felt slightly bad about abandoning him with the crazies and eventually loaded Audrey into the stroller and walked up the street and around the corner to the park. I found them playing with two boys. The boys had been at the park once before and quickly engaged Jakob. Brothers: 7 and 6, they live on the corner where the street that the park is on and our street meet. After they had finished playing ball everyone, including the two boys ran back to our house – they wanted to play in the sprinkler.
Jakob had made friends.
It seems simple enough and yet, it is not something to be taken for granted. Friends are what, or should I say, who will make or break Jakob’s transition to Edmonton. He is a social child. He thrives on friendships. He longs for relationship. I am glad.
And yet at the same time, terrified.
So much of Jakob’s emotions are governed by his relationships. He can endlessly talk about his friends and yet, I have also seen him get raging mad/sad when he has felt betrayed or wronged by those same friends. Not only that but I was a child once, or worse, a teenager and I know the consequences of good friends…and of “bad”. So while I wish I could look out and purely be happy that Jakob has found companions (and just up the street no less), I can’t help but wonder am I going to one day, not too far into the future, find the three of them smoking their first cigarettes on a bench in the ravine?
It’s crazy to think about how these are the things that are starting to matter. Gone are the days of innocence. Yesterday, Jakob turned eight years old. EIGHT. How is my baby eight?! The baby boy that made me a mother? I love him beyond words. Eight seems so old although I know that it is not and I still cherish the moments when he will crawl up onto my lap for a cuddle first thing in the morning, or want me to read him a story at night. I don’t want it to end. I don’t want the little boy in him to be drown out by loud music, back-talking or worse. So for now, I pray. I pray for grace. We like to think that, as parents we have control over how are kids turn out. But the reality is – Jakob belongs to God. And while we can do everything “right” I know that only grace will keep him. Grace is the reason he is one of the most compassionate little boys I know. Grace,is what makes him such a great big brother and grace is what helps him navigate this scary and unpredictable world.
Happy Birthday Jakob! Here is praying for grace for another year.
Post Script – since I wrote this, I found out that the two boys are moving to Nicaragua within the year.