Raising a Knight

He's been absolutely full of himself lately. And I can't help but document it. My little boy turned 5 just a few weeks ago. This Friday is his graduation from PreK and his "gotcha day," the day he was first placed in my arms. It's safe to say he's becoming a little man.

Last night I walked out of his room, after having constructed a tent atop his bed, to hear him call, "Mom, I have to tell you something."

I responded by reminding him he was supposed to be going to sleep but he said he had to whisper something in my ear and I caved.

"You're my pretty princess and I love you very much and you're the best cooker because I like what you made for dinner." #heartmelt

Yep, he's a sweet talker. And I'm perfectly okay with that. But what I'm more okay with is the fact that he's learning to be a gentlemen. He's learning how to treat a woman.

The other day as we were walking outside near the edge of the road, he said without a second thought, "Wait mom. Let me walk on this side so I can protect my princess."

Make no mistake, he's a boy. ALL BOY. He's absolutely fascinated with the cicada invasion, among other bugs. He's outdoors as much as possible, despite the fact I've already pulled two ticks off of him. He's constantly constructing some imaginary world with rocks, sticks, leaves and whatever else he can find. And there's more.

He's an active boy. He doesn't sit still. Ever. Before you start diagnosing or prescribing, let me remind you, he's a boy. As I watch him and my niece, the obvious male/female differences cannot be overlooked. He has one volume: loud. And when you ask him to turn it down, he lifts up his shirt and pushes the "button." Yep, not kidding. And I did NOT teach him that!

I find myself apologizing for his behavior when he crawls under the table at the restaurant, only to realize he's in his world of make believe and constructing a tent or fort. It's not that he's trying to disobey. He's just being him.

Now, let's also not neglect the discipline and firm guidelines that he needs. He requires structure. He needs to know exactly where the line is (so he can try to push it as far as he can) but he also requires consequences so he can learn to make good, obedient choices.

He's learning to open doors for girls and help carry things for mommy. He's understanding women are tender and require affection, even though he's already reaching the point of wiping other kisses off. He comes back for one from me not because he needs it, but because he knows I want to give it. I'm thankful for his tender heart. I'm also thankful he wants to mimic the example he sees and rub mommy's feet at night. Yes, he is becoming a little man.

I often feel like I could be doing so much more, or a lot better, especially if I'm really supposed to be a princess. This little Knight of mine regularly requires me to wear a plastic crown during our make believe play (it's purple and he knows it's also my favorite color). But so often I feel very unworthy of the place of honor, knowing I'm not just teaching him manners and guidelines, but I'm impacting and shaping his heart.

I'm bringing up a boy to become a man, and I pray everyday for him to grow to love Jesus. I pray all the time that I won't "miss it" - whatever it is, the thing that his heart desires to do. (Currently he wants to play drums, although I do admit to praying he'll choose the guitar instead!) we're going to try soccer this summer. Maybe Boy Scouts next year for this outdoorsman. Who knows?! All I actually know is I cherish each and everyday of being able to see his heart and have an opportunity to help him see me as the princess he thinks I am, so I can help him become the Knight I pray he becomes.


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