October 4, 2011

My Strange Identity

What would you say if I told you I bought this? At a garage sale. On purpose.

I looked at his sweet little face and thought, "That is me." and brought him home.

My husband thinks I'm nuts-he said that little guy looks like someone from the old TV show, Night Gallery. He wouldn't be surprised if some night that boy picks up his little chair and bashes one of us over the head with it while we're sleeping.

My sons think I'm crazy. "Mom, he is just creepy looking. Be careful, he might stab you at night while you're sawing logs!"

(Just out of curiosity-if I see me in that little boy, and my family sees those things......)

I would like to tell you, before I go on, that I am not a doll person. I don't collect them and don't plan on starting now. There was just something about this one boy. I tried to explain it to my family, but they don't get it. One son practically dissected the poor little guy to see how old he is. Maybe he's an antique and worth some money?

So, now I sit and look at my boy. I ask him, "Why are you me?"

If I couldn't explain it to my family, how on earth can I explain it to you? I'd like to try though.
It would be nice to know someone out there understands what I feel when I look at that doll....

I see a new mother, not quite 25, holding her blue eyed baby boy; she's overwhelmed at God's trust in her. You put this life in my hands? Are you sure I'm up for this?? What if I screw up and he turns out to be a mess of a person because of me? Three more times I would be given God's trust and three more times I would ask God those questions.

I stare at him and I see 75 months of nursing; more than 6 years of my life spent connected to a baby boy, vulnerable eyes looking deep into mine. Those were moments like no other. I'd fill a tummy and that look would fill my heart.

When I look at my boy, sitting peacefully in his chair, I remember all the years of diapers-probably 10 or so if I think about it. Ten years of not-so-sweet moments and ten years of stinky laundry. But, changing all those diapers said something to me. They said, This boy needs you. You are his servant. Serve him whether it's pleasant or not; whether you feel like it or not; whether it's convenient or not. We are all called to serve and lay down our lives. Begin here.

He also reminds me of all the noise, dirt, fighting, boo boos and band aids that go along with mothering sons. I see chubby little legs learning to walk; grubby little fingers holding tightly to mine; cars and trucks, GI Joes, smelly pets, camo, camping, fishing, cowboys and Indians, mud tracked through the house and dirty fingerprints on the walls. I see 21 years of homeschooling: reading boy books out loud, tears over math, the joy of watching someone "get it", hugs all day every day, any time of day. I see boys grown into men and discovering their wings; letting go and now welcoming back. I see God's faithfulness in using me to do what there is no way I could do without Him. I see Him filling in the gaps and bringing good out of brokenness and fear.

I've been mothering boys for exactly half my life. And for some strange, indescribable reason, that doll sums it all up for me. All that I've been and so much of what I've learned is smooshed into his stuffing and his sweet little face. That is why he's me.

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