The Caleb is our family extrovert. Our Court Jester. He never wants to be more than a few feet away. If he could have one hand on you at all times, he would be a happy boy. He doesn’t know how to be alone.
And he never stops talking. Ever.
Let’s put it this way. On a four-hour car trip, Prince Charming, Princess Ella, and I would be fine if we only ten words were uttered between us. Really. But not our little bottle of sunshine. He can talk the whole.way.anywhere. And never take a breath. Or run out of things to say.
I wish I was exaggerating. But I’ve talked to other moms with kids like Caleb. They know…I mean, they KNOW what I’m saying is true.
A few days ago a friend and I were commiserating together—this introverting mother of an extroverting child thing. (Because it is a thing)
Facing an empty nest sooner than later, she said words that struck deep, “I’m grateful though. Once she leaves home, I’m going to miss the way she pulls me from my introverted shell.”
I’ve written words and words and words about how we mommas were created to be the exact mommas our children need. And we were.
But have you stopped to think, even just once, that our children were created to be exactly what we needed too?
They push us to the edge of sanity—to the brink.
But we pull ourselves back and we learn. We learn to breath. We learn to be brave. We learn to cook mac-n-cheese while emptying a dishwasher, helping with homework, and catching a fly ball in the kitchen.
All at the same time.
My Ella-girl, with sweetness in her eyes and tenderness in her heart. Through her gentle-spirit, my biting sarcasm is shifting to kind encouragement. My definition of courage broadens as she has struggled through her own story. And I know what it means to dance deep in the soul by watching her.
My Caleb-boy, with fierceness in his eyes and passion in his heart. Through his independence, my temper is shifting to patience. My definition of conviction widens as he stands his ground. And I know what it means to laugh deep in the soul by watching him.
My children reveal my very best and my very worst pieces—pieces I see like a mirror when I find the secrets in their eyes.
Our children can teach us about ourselves. They can help mold us into better humans.
Don’t hear me wrong—you don’t have to have children to shift into a better person. Not at all. God allows us to rub shoulders all the time with those who can teach us, shape us. If didn’t have children to point out my broken places, there would have been others (and have been others.)
But my children have shown me some of my darkest issues, some of my ugliest conditions. I may be the momma they need, but they are also the exact two babies I have needed.
Every one of their struggles, their victories, their talents, their heartaches has taught me about who I am—who I can be. I can choose to stay the same or I can choose to grow.
In my children? I see my potential.
Even if that means I have to answer ten thousand questions every time I get in the car with the Court Jester.