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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mason

This guy.  Because I can't call him a kid anymore.  He's 11 years old.  He's in the 6th grade.  Middle school.  So is he a tween?  Or is that only for 12 year olds?
Several weeks ago, he and his Daddy went to the LSU/Mizzou football game.  He's quite festive, don't you think?  I mean, he's nothing if not LOUD.  In personality and in dress.  But I guess you can say he was dressed for success.  The Tigers won that game.
He and I have been through a lot together.  He was the first one who made me a Momma. A couple of weeks ago, his teacher at Sequitur and I were talking about one of his recent grammar assignments.  It was a bit difficult for him, and I mentioned how proud I was of him and how far he's come since those long days in early elementary school trying to figure out how to overcome being dyslexic.  She questioned me.  She was also his teacher last year at Sequitur, and she said she didn't remember that he's dyslexic.  Well, that's because I didn't tell her.  I was ready to leave all of that behind.  I mean, I guess you can't really leave it behind because it's always there.  But I no longer wanted that to define his schooling as it had for so long.  She then told me that she never would've known he's dyslexic had I not said something.

Huh.  Because I remember the days . . . not so long ago and yet so long ago . . . when I thought he'd never read, never experience success in a classroom setting regardless of how hard he tried.  And look where he is today!  He can read (even though he refers to himself as a "slow reader.").  He can write an essay.  He can diagram sentences.  He can comprehend difficult passages and retell.  That doesn't mean it's easy for him.  Because it's not.  He still has to work very hard.  We have to remain very diligent on a daily basis.  But he never gave up.  He never stopped trying.  He never listened to the voices of doubt and discouragement.  Instead, he chose to NEVER give up.  He chose to believe GOD has a plan for His life, and this is all part of God's plan.  And not only that, but God's plan is GOOD.

There are a lot of things I do not think about on purpose.  But I didn't spend some time looking about through some of the posts I wrote during those hard, long days.  The worst of it I didn't not write about because I felt it was necessary to protect those involved in the situation at his then-school.  But this post chronicles the earliest days and what we went through trying to figure out what was "wrong."  There was also the day I realized he'd begun to fly.  There were some funny moments, too.  And then, there was graduation day.  Funny.  That was exactly two years ago this Friday.

So here we are.  6th grade.  Reading Shakespeare.  And other classic literature.  I never thought I'd see the day.  But he did it, and he continues to do it.

He currently loves Star Wars and baseball (his favorite team is currently the Astros) and football.  He doesn't really play with toys anymore.  I'm in unchartered territory here. I miss the little 2-year old towheaded boy running around the backyard and playing on the swing set.  And here he is, almost a teenager!  I'm not quite sure what to do with that.  It's likely I won't deal very well.  It's also likely (actually, a given) I'll make a lot of mistakes along the way.  I've always said parenting the teenage years are the scariest for me.  And here we are.  Almost.  It's become so evident to me more than ever these past few weeks that he is "transitioning" to big kid stuff.  I mean, he refused to ride Dumbo at Disney!  But I also know (and see) that God continues to do a marvelous work in his life, and I continue to pray that he'll be fully surrendered to wherever God takes him.

He's still the pickiest eater ever in the whole wide entire world.  But he's branched out a little in the last year or so.  A very little.  His favorite color is still, and always will be, blue.  He wants to be a dentist (that is, if his professional baseball career doesn't work out!).  He's recently really gotten into Legos.  So maybe he'll be an architect instead (both careers, by the way, are in the top five careers for people with dyslexia!).  He loves sharks and can tell you most anything about them.  He enjoys fishing and hunting and riding his bike and jumping on the trampoline and throwing the football and swimming and, of course, his electronics.

He's a numbers guy (for obvious reasons).  One of my friends really makes it a point to have conversation with him, and she's been talking to him a lot about LSU football lately.  She told me the other day that she's noticed that he doesn't refer to the players by name but by number.  He can tell you about a play and who was involved in it, but he's going to use their numbers.  He can tell you how many yards so-and-so had.  He can talk about scores.  If you mention a player's name, he'll think a minute and then usually come back with, "Oh, you mean number such and such."

He's almost as tall as I am.  I give it another year, and he'll probably be there.  A few weeks ago I was buying shoes for the girls.  While I was at it, I looked for some tennis shoes for him (not that he really needs them right now, but he will soon).  It was a very sad moment when I realized that the next pair of tennis shoes I buy him will not come from the kids' section.  It will come from the MEN'S section.  The men's.  Yes.  I could just cry (and not just because of the cost difference either!).

I have many favorite things about my boy, but one of my most favorite is the relationship he has with his sisters, particularly Hannah Kate.  Those two are tight.  He and Ellie get tangled up a lot.  She annoys him, and he gives it right back to her.  He knows exactly how to push her buttons.  I think most of that is because of the age difference.  I mean, he'll take care of her, too.  But he and Hannah Kate are close.  You best not mess with her because I am convinced he will jump you.  They share secrets.  Yes, they really do.  And they will not rat each other out either.  I told Mason from the very beginning that his sister was going to be his best friend.  I told him he had no choice.  Now, at the time, I had my doubts, and I didn't know how to make that happen, but I didn't have to.  It just happened.  Mason has always been the best big brother to both of his sisters.

And another thing.  He loves his Momma, too.  I know he does.  He can tell when I'm upset about something, and he doesn't like it.  He's all the time checking on me, making sure I'm okay.  I had to fight for him something fierce from the time he was in kindergarten up until about 4th grade.  And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  But he'd fight for me something fierce, too.  I know he would.

There are some days I mourn the loss of his childhood.  Not that it's lost . . . because, oh, the memories!  But we're very quickly moving beyond that now.  For me, this will be a day-to-day-desperate-for-God's-grace kind of parenting thing.  But when I look at him now, I can't help but be excited about the young man he is becoming, the places he will go, the people he will meet.  I so enjoyed him as a little kid, and I'm determined to enjoy him as a big kid, too.  As much as everything in me wants him to stay little, he's not.  But I've recently realized just how much I'd be missing out on if, in fact, he did stay little.  

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