On Thursday night we had a babysitter because we went to the fundraising dinner for the C.S. Lewis Institute. Check out the Fellows Program — I know I mention it often but simply cannot recommend it highly enough. The Institute has a heart for discipleship and aims to make the next ten years a “decade of discipleship” with many great programs that can be utilized and implemented around the world. The Institute is partnering with RZIM and Alpha USA and I am excited about what this means for the spiritual growth of the church. It was an encouraging night and Will and I feel so blessed to involved with such a great organization.
Anyway, when we have a babysitter, little Will takes seriously his role as “man of the house.” This has been true since he was three years old. My husband had a two month tour of duty in Germany when Will was three and Nate was one. When he left for Germany, Daddy gave little Will a man-to-man talk about helping me out and being “the man of the house.” It is comical to look back at how we treated that child. Yes, he looked five. Yes, his intelligence and understanding of the world around him far exceeded his years, but being our first child we had no idea what proper expectations were. We set the bar amazingly high, and he consistently met or exceeded our wild expectations. He has always, always tried his very best not just to behave, not just to please us as parents, but to help me in proactive ways. He finds ways to be helpful without being asked, whether it’s carrying something for me, pushing the cart, picking up toys, getting snacks and drinks for others, especially Sam. The kid is a wonder. It breaks my heart, but he often asks me, “Do you think I’m being a good helper today?”
When we have a babysitter he loves playing Dad and putting Sam to bed. He’ll read to him or lay down with him, and he loves that time with his baby brother. He would probably do it every night if Sammy would let him, but when Mommy and Daddy are home, he wants nothing of big brother at bedtime.
So on Thursday Will and Sam both fell asleep in Sam’s bed. It’s a full size bed so it’s not like it was terribly crowded, but Sam is a fickle child and so when he woke up in the middle of the night, he physically kicked his big brother out of bed.
It was 4 a.m. when Will stumbled groggily into our bedroom. His five foot presence next to my bed woke me. He didn’t have to say anything.
“What’s up?” I asked in the darkness.
“I’ve been banished,” he answered.
I found that to be such a funny middle-of-the-night statement. But Will has a way of choosing just the right word, and as a lover of words, this gives me great joy.
He’s my wordsmithing man of the house, and I love him immensely. Now, off to cheer him on at Junior Olympic Championships! Swim fast, Will Jackson!