It is a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. The wind is rustling through the leaves, a cool breeze blowing through. I see a few boys pass by on their bicycles, riding freely down the street. I listen to their happy chatter and then my eyes fall on you. Standing in the driveway, watching them as they whiz past. As they disappear out of sight, you continue on with what you were doing. Sweeping the driveway, one brush stroke at a time.
My momma’s heart feels conflicted, watching you. I long for you to be just another boy, surrounded by your friends on a Saturday morning. Riding bikes, tossing around a baseball, swimming in the pool. But you’re not those boys. And I’m also glad, because not many 12 year old boys have your servant heart. Not many boys your age volunteer to mow the lawn, trim the trees, and sweep the driveway when they’re done. I watch you, and you’re so content to work, and it fills my heart with joy. But it also breaks it a little.
You have impeccable work ethic, and that’s going to take you places. But you’re not hanging with the other boys, and that’s what’s going to stop you. You don’t really know how to fit in, but you try so hard.
I never knew I’d pray for you to find a friend. Just one friend, who understands you and loves you for everything you are, the good and the bad. It took me years to find a friend like that, but I know you need it more. I was always a social butterfly, moving between groups, fitting in with many. Sometimes I’m still that way. I don’t need you to be that person. I don’t need you to be anything other than who you are. But sometimes, I want you to be. Sometimes I want you to be like every other kid, because it’s not fair.
Life isn’t fair, I know. We get what we get and it’s just our story. But sometimes I wish your story didn’t have to be this way. I wish you could sail through life as easy and breezy as a butterfly on a summer day. But then, if you did, you wouldn’t be you.
From the moment I held you in my arms for the first time, to this morning when I watched you sweep the driveway, you’ve been your own self. Curious, hard working, and learning at the speed of light. Sometimes it drives me crazy, and other times my heart melts into a pool that is your eyes so blue. I don’t understand it, really. But that’s a mother’s heart.
Everything about you is wrapped up in a package that stands out from the rest. It’s how I know it’s you, among a crowd of people. Your voice, your laugh, your chattering – it’s as unique as you are. And standing out isn’t a bad thing, really. It’s why you’re sweeping the driveway and not riding bikes with every other kid on the street. It’s just, they don’t understand you.
They see you sweep, as you pull weeds from the garden, as you water the flowers. They think you must be grounded. They figure you’ve been punished and wonder what you’ve done. They don’t understand you need to work with your hands, that this work is therapeutic. That your soul finds rest in keeping busy. They don’t see you smile as you work, because to them, it’s just another thing that keeps them from their happy.
What makes you happy makes you different, and it’s beautiful. It’s just you. And when you’re happy serving, you shine for Jesus. You SHINE.
As your thirteenth birthday is quickly approaching, my Momma’s heart feels nervous for changes that will come. Because it’s normal to change as you get older, that’s just life. But as I sit here watching you slowly transform from a child into a young man, I pray you won’t lose what makes you who you are. I pray that you will continue to serve, to work, and to be you – and never to stop. I pray that you’ll always follow where He leads.
I love you so.