I woke up to a strangely quiet house this morning. You are with Sammy & Daddy on your first ever camping trip! Today 5 dads and 7 sons woke up in tents at who knows what time. You were so excited.
All morning I've been thinking about you and about what this day was like for me 6 years ago. I think it may have been the happiest day of my life. You made me a mother for the first time.
You were born at the perfect time of year...right as summer heat gives way to the crispness of fall. You and I didn't get a whole lot accomplished during those first few months of your life. But we enjoyed a lot of stroller rides and hours of swinging in the hammock on our front porch. You had won my heart, and I was bound and determined to win yours too.
You have been my side-kick and constant companion for the past 6 years. You said to me the other day, "Mom, you spend more time with me than anyone else in the world. Even more than Sammy because Sammy takes a nap." It's true. And I feel like it's time well-spent.
I have loved 5-years-old. Your wit and humor cracks me up. I think it's particularly great now that you catch on to the humor of a situation. Even when Sammy is still too young to understand, you and I laugh together and it reminds me of just how grown up you are. It also reminds me that if, by the grace of God, we train you well during these younger years, our friendship with you will grow stronger and stronger as you get older and are more able to reciprocate friendship. That aspect of parenthood is so wonderful to me.
Caedmon, you are a clever child. Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a situation that you have carefully crafted for your own benefit and I wonder to myself, "How did this just happen and how do I get myself out of it?" You always seem to have a clear idea of what it is you want and somehow you have acquired the skill set to intuitively arrange circumstances and persuade people in order to make it happen. Your logic and reasoning are hard to get around.
The untrained version of that skill set is manipulation. That's the raw, unfiltered material that we're working with right now. (Like when I overhear you trying to convince Sammy which TV show he should pick on his day to choose.) But, your Daddy and I see in you the ability to use those strengths for a mighty impact in the Kingdom of God. No longer manipulative, but persuasive. No longer demanding for you own gain, but focused and determined for God's glory. There is boundless potential for God to use that clever mind of yours if you will surrender it whole-heartedly to Him!
This past year you have had your tonsils removed, started homeschool, and (best of all!) indicated for the first time a desire to follow Jesus. You have learned to read, bought your first skateboard with your own money, and probably ate over 300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You asked more questions than I had answers and required more patience than I was able, at times, to muster up.
You still like to hold my hand. You still love to snuggle on the couch. Your sweet face still melts my heart.
Here's a little secret just between us...one of the main reasons I chose to homeschool was that I just wasn't ready to let you go yet. When you were a toddler and the days felt never-ending, I thought I would throw a party the day I could drop you off at school. But as that mile stone grew closer, I decided that I'd like to extend early childhood just a little bit longer. You are growing up and learning so much so quickly. By no means am I trying to slow that down. I just want you to do that by my side for a little while longer.
I have no idea what year 6 will hold, but I want to savor it. Even in the midst of bad attitudes and long days, I want to remember that it is one of the greatest privileges of my life that I get to be a mom. And not just any mom. I am the mom to Caedmon Elliott Wood. And that Caedmon, he's a special kid.
I love you always,