We had a beautiful spring day today--it wasn't just the temperature outside or the birds singing and the flowers blooming. It was enjoying springtime in Daniel's life--with his heart singing and spirit blooming.
I've shared some firsts before (here is a post of some special firsts before Daniel even came home), but today I witnessed a major milestone.
You see, I used to love it when my kids would start a sentence with "when I was little. . . ." I'd chuckle at whatever this miniature person shared because, as they stood there in training pants with baby teeth, they were still far from classifying as big. But I had grown to hate those four words once Daniel came home.
His "when I was little . . ." was always followed by a heartbreaking remembrance. Like last week when I was cooking and warned him not to get too close to the flame on the gas stove, he responded with: "When I was little, my bad mom put my hand in the fire . . . and then laughed."
Every story tragic, horrifying, heartbreaking. Often he'd share things with tears. Other times he'd talk about something seeming completely numb to the pain it caused.
So today I was making lunch. The boys we're sitting at the table eating grapes and Daniel said those dreaded words . . . "when I was little." My stomach instantly turned to knots, blood pressure began to rise, my heart raced as I wondered if I should take Brady out of the room so Daniel could finish this thought in private. But the words spilled out before I could shut his lid.
"When I was little . . . , I remember coming home on Christmas Eve. I remember that our neighbors had put balloons on our door and a sign that said welcome home. I remember you put that little Christmas tree in our room. I remember that you gave me a bath with bubbles."
I tried to hold back the happy tears. All these things happened just 3 months ago, yet his mind is finally able to look back and remember something good. He has new pages in the book of "when I was little." My heart rejoiced thinking that he might be able to one day say that he had a happy childhood.
There are days when he seems so big. Capable of making a big noise. Eating a big meal. Making a big mess. But when I tucked him in bed tonight, he looked so small. He had a stuffed animal snuggled up against his cheek. He asked if he could sleep in my bed if he had a bad dream. He thanked God in his prayers for giving him a family.
I told him a bedtime story and sang a lullaby. I tucked him in and pulled the covers up high. Most boys his age don't need such things, but my big boy is still beautifully little.
And today, for the first time I didn't grieve the childhood that was lost, but celebrated the childhood that was found.
More Than Lots,