Monday, July 6, 2009

Eye-opening 4th of July

We had a great weekend with my mom's side of the family in the Gatlinburg, TN area. Mom's family - her 7 other brother and sisters and all their children....and grandchildren were there. Joshua was in heaven playing with 3 other little boys his age. He officially became a little boy this weekend....expressing himself, his wants, his desires (not in a spoiled annoying way)... just a little boy totally enjoying life with friends and wanting to spend every waking moment with them. This was shocking to us...because Joshua is shy, especially around strangers. But not this weekend.... from the moment we invited Jacob to come along with us for a round of miniature golf, Joshua knew he had found a new best friend in his second cousin. But there is more to the story... mom's family are mostly Mennonite - and these 3 little boys were part of that community. He felt totally safe and at ease in the company of over 66 people! I think it's mostly the love this family expresses through their actions, laughter, singing, family talks, and lots of GREAT food. I learned one thing.... our children are not born mean.... these little boys played with only a few toys that we pulled out of the backseat of our car...most of the time with very little conflict. I was shocked. They pretended they lived in a tree house, played hide and seek...and really found many things to do without the materialism of loads of toys, TV, or videos. We have felt for a while that it's important to facilitate finding friends for Joshua.... but this experience proved to us even more that he loves being a boy...and is a very good friend to others. I can't tell you how it warmed my heart as they all hugged when we left this morning.

I know Joshua will be a great big brother to baby Lauren.... he got a little practice this weekend with baby Lyndsey (one of his other second cousins)... but I think it's more than that... he needs friends that confirm and validate who he is as a little boy. This is a new revelation, given we know he loves his friends at school, but most of them are girls.... which he loves dearly, but girls don't play the same way as little boys do....and I think they are all getting to the age where that is starting to come out. At least for us.... our little baby doll .... became a little boy this weekend, fully into the person he is meant to be for the moment....fully accepted and loved by others his age.... fully validated for who he is.

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