Watching My Shadow Grow

I have had a shadow for my entire life. (I’m NOT a vampire . . .) I know this to be true. It is an unequivocal fact.

But once my sweet William was born I gained a whole different sort of shadow! Our youngest son (even at almost 9 years of age) is quite often my shadow – my companion – my sidekick – my little buddy – and my right hand man.   Will and I spend a lot of time together – because he likes it this way.

Will’s first sentence was “I GO!” And those two short words very clearly meant – “I am going with my mom wherever she is going and please for the love of all that is good and holy don’t get in the way!”

And he meant it. Will likes to keep an eye on me. He seems to consider it his assigned duty and responsibility.

Perhaps even as a toddler Will knew just how bad my sense of direction is and he feared I would wander off and get lost forever and ever if he didn’t keep a careful watch over me . . . And honestly that isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

My sense of direction is terrifyingly – wretchedly – shockingly miserable. Some days it feels like I could get lost in my own backyard . . . One of Jason’s primary and most essential roles in our family is helping me find my way home. I don’t use GPS – I call Jason – because only Jason can understand the predicaments I get myself into on especially bad direction days.

William is also the only extrovert in our family of 4. While Jason – Jack – and I will gladly sit in silence for hours (together or alone) – Will likes/wants/needs to be in on the action.   He is happiest when he has companionship (me).

Will is always up for an adventure and he delights in coming to church with me (especially during the week). It is one of his favorite things to do. Will asks to do this for fun. He even has his own desk in my office. These trips to the church feel cozy and nurturing and welcoming to him.   Will gets alone time with his mom and there is always the added excitement of the possibility of another Lutheran dropping in for bonus entertainment.

Please overlook his indulgent beverage . . . he was on a VERY RARE “coffee break.”

Last weekend Will was thrilled when Jason and I announced that Saturday was a church property work day and we would be spending the WHOLE morning at church. He couldn’t wait until it was time to leave for the church. Will was ready and waiting at 6:10 am when I escorted Jack to the vet clinic where Jack works each weekend.

Later when Will and I set forth closer to the appointed time – he was bouncing with excitement and glee. We were going to church on a Saturday morning – for the whole morning and people were coming (we hoped . . . ).

And seeing Rod – Peggy – Buddy – Cheryl – Ella – and even his dad arrive thrilled his little extroverted soul! People after his own heart. People who love coming to church. People who love helping and serving!

As we worked – I thought to myself – my sidekick is growing up.   He is becoming really and truly helpful.

Will helped decorate the church fellowship hall for the upcoming Halloween Party. Will collected a vast array of sticks from all over the church yard. He helped clean up the piles that his dad made from trimming the bushes around the church property. And he pitched in and helped out and he did it all with a huge smile and a willing spirit!

I think I can learn a lot from my little guy . . .

“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat; the calf and young lion and fatling will be together, and a little child will lead them.

– Isaiah 11:6

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