Thursday, April 12, 2012

Favorite Things

The first two times I was pregnant I was sure I was having a boy.  I didn't. I was blessed with two girls, sisters, who WILL be best friends if I have to make them. The third time around I was settled on living a life of  Little Women - but alas, that was not to happen, either. Our first son was born in January eight years ago at 10 lbs. 3 oz., and 22 inches long. I can hear some of you saying 'ouch'.

Spencer has grown into a freckle-faced, dirt-under-the-fingernails kind of kid, and I adore it.  He is sensitive (just like his daddy) and I have to be careful how I talk to him or he wonders if I still love him. I know God sent him to me to break me of scowling and shouting.  My girls can take scowls and huffing and eye-rolling, but not my guy Spencer.

Spencer is truly a middle child - two older sisters and one young brother.  He often sees the glass half-empty, which people who know him may find hard to believe. He is curious beyond belief and sometimes can talk for hours straight about what-if's and maybe's. Spencer's favorite bible story is about the boys who get thrown into the fiery furnace and he has more questions about God than I know the answer to. He has a wicked sense of humor but also a strong sense of justice.  He often cries if he feels that I am being harsh on one of his siblings. He doesn't like it when any of us are away from home. Spencer prefers for us to all be together, all of the time.

I openly admit that motherhood is exhausting.  There are more days than I care to count that I feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I laugh hysterically. Sometimes I just want to sleep through parts of it. Last night while the boys were occupied - Liam in the tub for 45 minutes, praise the Lord, Spencer watching the same scene from Tin Tin over and over and over - I wandered into their room to tidy up.

I am always impressed with the amount of stuff Spencer can cover a surface with.  I swept a sizable pile of candy wrappers, dirt, and socks from under his bed.   Unsure of what to do next I sat on the edge of his bed and examined the desk that doubles as his nightstand.  At first glance it looks like a hot mess, but as I relaxed and really looked at each object on the desk top I was filled with a deep and abiding affection for the treasures that my boy treasures.

In fact, I realized that his desk is one of my favorite things in the world.

Spencer's desk reminds me that being a child is magic and that everything from bottle caps to coins are a prize. The way he had his favorite book by Mercer Meyer, Just a Nap, propped up against the wall put tears in my eyes. Seashells, sandollars, rubber stamps, and a salt map we made earlier in the school year have made it to his desk of favorites. The goldfinch ornament (goldfinches are his favorite bird), a box of pastels, and a rusted bottlecap that was flattened by a train are there, as well.

My boy heard me in there rustling around and came in. His thickly-lashed, brown eyes lit up as he asked, "Did you want to see my treasures?" ( Why does this make me weepy?)  I nod my head and he nudges past me to his desk, puts his fingers to his mouth as he ponders what to explore with his mama first. We look for so long at each object. He turns the shell this way and that, holds it to his ear.  We look at his stations of the cross picture, pennies that he has found, and silly bands that friends have given him. I amazed that Spencer knows where everything came from and that each object is meaningful in a surprising way.

I lost track of time, sitting there with my guy, Spence. I couldn't even remember what it was that I felt so rushed to do next.  I just sat there basking in the glow of his wonder.

As he  explained the significance of the sand dollars my fingers absently picked up a slip of paper from a fortune cookie.  I read it and smiled; finding truth from a cookie just plain ironic:

"Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards."

It's Thursday, so I'm linking up over at Mama Kat's - click on the icon below for some great reads.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. Great writing! Put me right in the room with the two of you.

  2. he is so awesome and i am so proud of his "treasures" !!! great blog, we are gifted & much loved!

  3. I think you've just inspired me to look at my own little boy's messy table with a new respect.

  4. My 7 year old daughter has a messy desk that is always filled with her treasures. I am usually frustrated with this mess, but your post inspired me to see things from a different perspective. On the other hand, my teenage daughter has a room that looks like a grenade has gone off. Not sure I will find anything magical in that room. Not sure I want to know what I might find in that room.

    I enjoyed this post. Sounds like you have an amazing family.

  5. What a great story. It makes me want to join you in person to listen to your son talk about his treasures.

    10 pounds?! Whoa - hats off to you.

  6. My first two pushed 9 pounds, I fear any future children I may have. Spencer sounds a lot like my oldest son, who is exactly like his Mama. ;) I have to mentally put myself into a special place when handling him as I can remember what broke my heart as a child and knowing how it would break his.