Tuesday, June 5, 2012


It seems odd to title a post with the subject of an entire blog, but I felt it was time to devote some words to my boy - my sassy, independent, bright, defiant, affectionate, curious boy.

Y'all, Ethan has been a hot mess lately.  Some days I thank Jesus that Ethan didn't turn out to be a girl; I'm not sure I'd be able to handle those PMSing years if right now is any indication of how they would be.  He can give Jeramie an unprompted kiss on the cheek one second, pull away, and smack the other one two seconds later.  I wish I understood that brain of his, but I just don't.

We've had a really rough couple of weeks lately and there were days I fantasized about going back to work full-time.  Jeramie would come home from work and I'd want to throw both of them into the doghouse by bedtime.  It took empathetic looks and hugs from some mama-friends, lots of grace from Jeramie, a few come-to-Jesus meetings for me, and a trip to the grandparents' for Ethan before I finally felt like we got our groove back.

But, back it is, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Apart from his mood swings, Ethan is super fun right now! He makes me laugh multiple times a day and blows me away with the stuff he knows and remembers.  He asks about a million and five questions a week, most recently wanting to know what things are able to talk.  "Do fish talk, Mom?" ... "Do cars talk?" ... "Do toys talk?"

Thank you, Pixar.

He has also become increasingly curious about when he was a baby.

(Side note: I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but Ethan will become a cousin in September and I'll have my very first nephew! We couldn't be happier for Nick and Lori Ann and we've been talking a lot about the baby in LA's belly.)

All of that talking, paired with some photos I recently had printed, have piqued his interest.  Every day for the past week, he has asked to see pictures of "me in your belly" (ultrasound images) and photos from the hospital.  The first day we spent about half an hour looking through pictures and I was so not ready for what he would ask and how I would explain it. "What's that thing in my mouth, mom?" (breathing tube) ... "What's it for?" ... "What's that in my nose?" (NG tube) ... "Was I sick?"


With tears in my eyes I explained that yes, he was very sick, but that many people love him and prayed for him and that the doctors helped his heart.  I don't want him to focus on, or begin to worry about, all of that right now, so I felt short and simple was best.  As he becomes aware of his differences, I want him to know that he is exactly who God made him to be - special heart and hand included.

On a lighter note, he is going to be so ready for preschool come September! I can see his social skills maturing and I think the structure of a classroom setting is going to do wonders for him. We've been working through a preschool workbook in the afternoons and two things have become apparent to me.  One - I am not called to home school him and, two - the boy is smart.  With every letter sound he sings, line he draws, and problem he solves I whisper a prayer of thanks.

I've confessed to a few friends (and now to y'all - my bigger group of friends) that because of his smarts I find myself setting absurdly high expectations for him.  When I don't recognize that, our days are long and tiresome, and we both end up crying at some point.  But, when I take a step back and remind myself that he's three for crying out loud, I find I truly enjoy his unpredictable self.  This song has become my anthem, and I thank God for strengthening my ever-failing self.

Ethan is going to be visiting his grandparents a lot in June, with the first long stay beginning tomorrow, and I find myself missing him already.  I am grateful beyond words that he is already forming such strong bonds with mine and Jeramie's parents, and that God continues to give us days and moments to express to Ethan just how much he is loved.

I have a feeling he knows.


Check out The MOB Society (Moms of Boys) to read more great posts on raising godly men!


mossfamily said...

I absolutely love your honesty & perspective. I relate to you on SO many levels! You are a great mama & Ethan is a super special kid. That last photo melts my heart. Gracious!

Tara said...

I, too, love your honesty and authenticity in your posts. I loved what you said about your expectations and having to remind yourself that he is 3...We have to do the exact same thing with Liam...at least a few times a day! Hugs to you guys!

Anonymous said...

You are such a good mother Joye and it shows in Ethan's behavior. He is an absolute joy to be around and I cannot wait for the next time I get to spend time with that awesome little boy.

Stefenie said...

Those toddler mood swings are the worst. {{{HUGS}}} to you dear friend! I went through that with Wyatt. Logan was pretty easy his toddler years. However his five year old mood swing is something else. Thank goodness it only appears on very rare occurrences. Oh my! LOL!!!

Becca said...

My 3 year old is a hot mess these days too - and she doesnt even have health stuff or past surgeries etc . . . I keep telling everyone at camp when Jayci's having one of her moody days that "she decided to be THREE today." Sigh, I'm hoping 4 brings better behavior!

Sherry Reese said...

Hi, Joye! This post is so sweet, and your Ethan sounds so precious. He reminds me a lot of my Evan (who is now 5). I am sorry for Ethan's health problems when he was a baby but am so glad he seems to be a healthy, happy, and rambunctious 3 year old today. I also have to remind myself that Evan is still just a little boy because most of the time he acts so grown up and I have always been able to reason with him like an adult. However, last night was actually one of those exceptions when he was completely inconsolable about the 4th of July fireworks (he has always liked fireworks in the past but now he can't seem to stand the noise). I'm glad I could join you today from the MOB Society.

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