makes me smile most of the time. He is almost four now and if ever a three year old warmed my heart, he has. He greets me so sweetly in the morning and we talk about all the little things in his little world. He quietly comes into the room and says "I love you so much mom". Sigh. How can that not melt a heart? "I love you so much too Stefan". He is very independent in many ways. He likes to have a part in the decisions in his world and not just be told what to do. I tend to ask him questions when we have to shift gears like, "Have you seen your shoes lately Stefan? Do you want me to help you find them or can you do it yourself?" He says "Sure, I can find them" and runs his skinny little legs away from me and produces his shoes. I love the "Sure!" He is my eczema child. I had been thinking how his skin condition as an infant and toddler changed his world the other day. He also has a peanut allergy and he takes that pretty well in hand now even as a three year old. (I did screw up and give him a donut with peanuts on it recently, but Benadryl to the rescue stepped in - sigh) Anyway, after spending a few days thinking about this another mom just out of the blue this morning, mentions how eczema kids do have a very close tie to their parents for all the close and careful care they received. Funny that is what I was thinking.
He had his first communion last week and he intently paid attention during the Words of Institution and told me what Pastor was doing. Melted my heart again.....he snuggled up and folded his hands and made room for me to be able to kneel with Evan beside him. I will remember that day fondly.
He is intense to be sure and when he is not happy we all know it. Force doesn't work too well but talking to him with respect does. He has actually taught me a lot about relating to children. His sensitivity and the reactions seen in his face help me process the hearts and souls of my kids. They are not just kids, they are people with emotions, needs, sorrows, and times of joy. What happens now effects them. It effects their little hearts. I think I approach my kids a little differently now or perhaps am more tuned into them as individuals.
Stefan's little self changed me in many ways. The stress of his eczema and then his one allergic reaction rocked my world. He lived through it. That event changed me. I spent more time holding him and comforting him than any other child in the family. I think that is why he is so snuggly even now. He helps me see the needs of the other kids and the contrast in their baby hoods and helps me to consider my approach with each of their individual needs etc. I still screw up but it still has been helpful. I've known all this in my head but somehow my heart is effected differently through all this.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the suffering Stefan endured to help me be a better mom to my kids. It was worth it. I love you too Stefan! Jesus loves you! Stefan, "There is my Jesus" as he points to his crucifix before turning out the light. Yes, there is your Jesus Stefan. He loves you. He always will.