February 6, 2010

A Hand's Worth of Fingers.

I watched him as he ate his dinner tonight and smiled because he is so very unique. But somehow he's got his uniqueness down to a science. This is why this boy never ceases to amaze me. He is quirky and silly and goofy, but there is a method to it all... a calculated response to certain things that is as consistent as clockwork.

The hot dog he was eating tilted to the left. Without even thinking about it, he figured out a way to make it sit straight. After every bite, he wipes the corners of his mouth on a single, unfolded napkin that sits to the left of his plate. Everything has to be just so. The grapes can't be cut. The hot dog can't be crooked. The cheese must stand alone.

(It's not allowed to touch the crackers.)

Some days I become completely exhasparated by his quirks. Those days, I resolve to entertain them NO MORE and attempt to steamroll over his oddities with a heavy dose of PRACTICAL.

We fight and cry for days. Misery envelops the household.

Then I am inevitably reminded that it is not my job to stamp out every quirk, but to strengthen his inner man. To give him the gift of knowing he is valued and lovely, all while persistently calling him towards the character of God. These quirks have nothing to do with his moral character. I am not being a good steward of my energy by dumping it out upon his eccentricities. There are bigger battles to fight.

It is in those moments of 'defeat' that I learn to actually delight in his idiosyncrasies. Because when you jumble them all together, you get Ezra. Sweet, kind, malleable, tender-hearted Ezra. Whose hotdog must remain at a perfect 90˚ to his plate surface at all times. And whose current favorite word is POOP SACK. Oh how he laughs... every single time he says it. I can't tell if he's laughing at the words themselves, or the reaction that it causes in my face. (Probably the latter, but I JUST CAN'T HELP IT.)

I wouldn't trade these last five years of my life for anything in the world. Not money. Not fame. Not the freedom I had before becoming a mother. NOTHING. He has given me the gift of living and leading a full life. Because, no matter what happens in the days and years ahead, I have done much. I have given the world much. I have been blessed to know and love Ezra, the methodical master of silliness and laughter.

Happy birthday, sweet boy.
A whole hand's worth of fingers! WOW!


Rita Ortloff said...

Am sitting at my computer SOBBING. I mean it. I'm gasping and weeping.

Gracious. That's exactly how I felt when my William turned 5. Exactly.

Only I didn't have the talent to say it like you do.

What a lovely boy. And what a lucky boy. To have you for a momma.


Anonymous said...

we share a birthday, ezra! my sister used five as an excuse to say she was a handful.

i like that you realize that sometimes you want to squash the uniqueness out of your boy, but then stop yourself. you must be an amazing momma.

Christina said...

Love this post Happy Birthday to your sweet boy.
He reminds me a lot of my 2nd daughter...

PaisleyJade said...

Happy Birthday little guy... I have one with strong quirks like this too - I am amazed at how unique they all are!

The Beckster said...

He's so adorable. I remember having quirks when I was little that seemed so OCD. I wonder why kids do that? You sound very wise to avoid the power struggle of it all, motherhood is busy enough!

Claire said...

Emery, I wish every child in the world would be loved like this. You are a fantastic mother (and writer :-)

Alison and the boys said...

Thanks for this post! I enjoy your blog and felt especially encouraged by this one. My oldest is 4 1/2 and sometimes I struggle with trying to control his quirks too. Thanks for the reminder to allow him to grow into his own special being and not get hung up on things that don't matter!