Life with a three year old is… spirited. It’s lively and noisy. We do a lot of redirecting and correcting. Sometimes his behavior embarrasses us.
Like when we’re trying to leave church on Sunday morning and he’s wailing about wanting to take home all the gifts under the Angel Tree. We can try to explain to him that those gifts are for needy children, but he’s so loud in that moment that there’s not much we can do except walk away.
Three year old boys can be impulsive and have a serious lack of self control.
But as we drive home and I think about how to explain to him why he couldn’t have those gifts, I realize just how important it is for him to hear what I say.
And how important it is for me to teach him. This three year old is going to become a man.
So I’ll teach him to open doors for ladies.
To give more and never expect to receive.
To listen and be there for his friends.
To always respect his father.
To think of his brother as his number one person. The one who’s always there for him.
To be generous.
To be a humble winner and a gracious loser.
To understand just how ugly it sounds to use foul language.
To do the dishes.
To work hard, but put family first.
To know how to separate laundry and what settings to use on the washing machine.
To know that no matter what, my arms are open and my heart will always be home for him.
Today in the car, he was singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain” at the top of his lungs. Not to be loud or obnoxious, but because he was happy and proud. And it was that carefree, agreeable kid that I love so much.
When I got him out of his carseat to come inside, he asked me to hold him. I picked him up and he put his hands on my face and grinned. And he said, “Mommy. I need to tell you something. I’m so proud of you.”
Oh, the ache. He has no idea.
And I just said, “I’m so proud of you, too, buddy.”