Good Instead of Evil...

There is something about entering a room where my youngest has been that is distinct. It doesn't matter where he is in the house currently - when he's been in a room and I walk into it, the same feeling washes over me every time.

Photo by Eric McDuffie Photography
You can call it my incredible mommy instinct or credit our unbreakable mother/son bond if you like (and I hope you will), but whatever the reason, it conjures up feelings and sensations that have no comparison.

As I write this I'm trying to find the right words to describe what it's like to come into a room when a precious child born from your womb (or grew from your heart) has recently bestowed sweet hands and curious minds to an unsupervised area for even the most shockingly short snippet of time.

It reminds me of something...what is it?

Oh. Ha. That's right.

A Crime Scene.

The room reminds me of a crime scene. And that feeling that washes over? It's the dread you feel when you simultaneously don't want to look at something yet you literally can't turn away.

A room in shambles.
A cabinet door swinging on it's hinges, making a creaking noise for like the first time ever.
A chandelier spinning from a mysterious wind gust even though all the doors are closed. 
Some empty container with no idea where the subsequent "spill" is until you step in it. 
A worried dog with a look in her eyes as if posing the silent question, "Does this reflect badly on all of us?"

It's a room full of terrifying clues and a mystery crime. One I can't figure out. I undoubtedly stand in the doorway for a few minutes like Angela Lansbury in an episode of Murder, She Wrote, taking in the scenery, listening to sounds and trying to figure out WHAT has taken place in this room.

Where is the dead body?

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash
Usually it's the kitchen. And usually it's in pursuit of food.

He'd rather rip open and eat shredded mexican cheese off the floor than ask me for a string cheese.

He'd rather scale the pantry shelves for a sleeve of stale Saltines (because you only buy them when  you're sick and never finish the package - hence the staleness) than ask me for some goldfish.

He'd rather fill a decorative canister with water (with decorative holes that allow the water to spill out) than ask me for a juice box.

On the one hand, I get frustrated that he is capable of such grand scale destruction. On the other hand, I get a tinge of excitement at the problem solving and independence he shows. I mean, really, WHY ask mom for something when you can stack five chairs on top of each other?

Drop him in the wild and I'm convinced that he'll be fine.

I think what I like about it is the show of what his powers are going to look like when he's older.  You know, when he uses them for good instead of evil

It's fun to watch the different strengths of your children shine through while they are young. They are taking their talent baby steps and practicing their sets on the best cheerleaders they know.


And it's exhausting.

I love that my oldest son, like my sister, just needs a clipboard and a small country to run - that'll work in his favor when he's older and we are short on dictators.  (If you need one now, he'll be looking for some summer work).

I love that he can negotiate my cell phone out of my posession using only 4 or 5 words and no visual aids - that'll be fantastic when he's a crisis negotiator one day.

I can't wait until my youngest grows up and is somewhere when food needs to be located - maybe that'll be a job one day.

Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash
And don't even get me started on my son and his number times and departure estimates are hotly debated by this literal boy. Don't tell him something will happen in 10 minutes unless you mean it...he'll grab your phone and set the timer.

Math guru in the making? Maybe. It makes for stressful dinner preparation now - that's for sure.

I think it's amazing how we have all been uniquely gifted. It's fun to see the stuff bubble up in your kids that you KNOW you did not teach them and are qualities you don't even have. It just shows how remarkable we all are. It shows how many different kinds of people it takes to make such a beautiful world. And despite what the news says, it IS a beautiful world.

So today, at Christmastime, I'm celebrating the host of gifts that our kids bring to the table. Things that make us proud. The things that exasperate us.

And mostly the things that while we are reprimanding them for doing them, we are simultaneously thinking, "I cannot WAIT to see you grow up and use that skill for good instead of evil."

In the meantime, I'll keep my ears open, a broom nearby and some crime scene tape at the ready.

What strengths in your children excite you?


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