I have this little boy, he is kind, thoughtful, rambunctious, a lover of numbers, legos, and cars, sensitive, a snuggler, tender hearted, and most recently our animal lover.
This boy will be nine in a few months and it is obvious that he is growing up. I have noticed changes in his behavior these past couple of months that show he is not just a little boy anymore. While R.J. is always thoughtful of his often annoying little sister, lately he is more patient and will let her have her way to avoid conflict and whining. While he has always been good about cleaning up his messes and doing his chores he is now offering to help out without being prompted.
What I love so much about this change is that for quite some time R.J. did not have much interest in the animals (his seven-year-old sister has always been our animal lover), but now they are his flock.
In the evenings when he goes out to feed he will make sure the chickens are back in their run; he does this with the help of a big push broom and scoops of grain to coax them all inside. He will then collect the eggs, bring them inside, and put them away for me. One of the first days he collected the eggs he used his swim towel as a ‘basket’. This method worked well until in his excitement to tell his sister something he forgot he had eggs in the towel and promptly dropped it in on the ground. The poor kid felt horrible about the seven broken eggs, and even though I assured him it was fine he still told his sister that I was mad at him. I let him know that I had dropped my share of eggs and that he just needed to be more mindful of them the next time. He was convinced that we could save some of the eggs because the yolks were still in the shells, and it was suggested that we pick them up and use them later. This idea was shot down. Count 7.
Fast forward to the next day and egg collecting. I mentioned that he should find a basket to put the eggs in and was told that he would just put them in the pocket of his sweatshirt. This worked until he took the six eggs out of his pocket and attempted to carry three in each hand, another one bites the dust. Count 8.
R.J. finally consented to carry a bucket and even added some straw so that the eggs would be cushioned on their trek to the house. I was impressed with his idea to add a ‘nest’ to the bucket and felt we were on our way to safe egg transport.
While we have not lost any in transport over the past week we did have a fatality early this morning. R.J. came downstairs early, slipped his arms around my waist as I sat at this kitchen table with my coffee, and gave me a sweet hug. While this is off the topic,a gesture this sweet is the perfect way to start a day. As I prepared my breakfast I had R.J. put more eggs in the carton for me and his inability to slow down caused another fatality. The egg hit the container with a thud and then we heard a crack; R.J. looked up at me… Count 9.
I am watching my little boy grow up before my eyes and while I see him maturing in so many ways there is still so much little boy in him (I mean he is only eight). R.J. loves to play with his army men, matchbox cars, his sister and her Barbies, he still gets ¼ of his dinner on his face and in his lap, while he loves the ’Die Hard’ movies (do not judge) he still loves Disney movies and cartoons, he gets excited about everything, and his little mind is always working on the next mess he will make. The spirit and heart in this boy make him so special.
I am going to enjoy this more mature side of my R.J., but I am also going to make sure that he stays a little boy as long as possible. I am not going to encourage him to get rid of any of his toys because he is too ‘grown up’ for them and I am going to treasure every moment of his ‘boyness’.
I am sure there will be more egg fatalities in the future…