One morning as we sat in the carpool for his school, my son Alexander, the 4-year-old, told me he wants to grow up to drive a red truck. As I opened my mouth to ask him why, he continued telling me he knows I really miss my red truck, and if he gets one, we can share it and take turns driving so I’m not so sad my truck is gone.
Be still my heart, I have such a sweet kiddo. He isn’t just a sweetheart to me, either. Alexander is sweet to everyone. He does nice things for his brothers all the time, helping Logan (my middle child) learn to play tablet games, showing him how to use toys and play pretend, even making pretend meals for him. He’s just as sweet with Nate (my youngest), helping him open his water bottle, showing him how to throw and catch a ball, playing peek-a-boo with him, and more.
I know he might grow out of this phase, but he does nice things for me, too. He loves to help, and he will do anything — fold laundry, throw trash out, help me occupy his brothers when they’re upset (without me asking him or prompting him!), even clear plates from the table. He does nice things for Aaron, too. He colors pictures for him, and when he was deployed he put together a few care packages. Now that he’s home, Alexander will chase his brothers away when Aaron studies downstairs.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a saint. I do my fair share of correcting Alexander, but I am also very proud of him. Our latest kid-venture was play-doh. I got him a table so he could play when his brothers were napping. But our newest upcoming kid-venture is cooking. Alexander loves to pretend to cook so much we got him a play kitchen. I grew up in a huge Italian family, so now it’s my turn to pass on our love of cooking. Once a week we are going to start making a meal together. Something light and easy, but something to teach him cooking skills.
I really got lucky. It’s such a privilege to be raising a kid who so willingly helps others, and treats people with kindness. I feel incredibly blessed, not to be cliché. I am excited to see who he will grow up to be – but I’m not in a hurry. I do hope he keeps those wonderful qualities, though. For now, he can settle for driving his red toy Jeep.
“Your innocence and open heart sees only what is good. I hope you stay this way forever, long past childhood.” – Linsey Davis, author of Stay This Way Forever