My son seems to be at an awkward place, that in between place. Since turning seven two months ago, I have noticed a change in him. He went from little boy to young boy. He also became more boy-like and has found fascination (and laughability) at bodily functions. Yes, THAT age.
But while he reaches for further independence and time alone, he also still needs the approval of his big sister and thrives on spending time with her. She's going through her own growing phase and seeks her own space and time alone.
I think some of this searching for Jonah stems from being the only boy within the three girls. Upon further investigation and thought I think the arrival of back-to-back baby girls after him being my 'baby', has perhaps contributed.
I find my boy spending time alone and sometimes creating a play place in the oddest places (see photo above, that's my pantry and that is his 'hotel' he created). I try my hardest to include him and ask for his help throughout the day, for fear that he does not feel loved or included in a busy household that demands so much of my time.
He yearns for friends that he has everything in common with and are his exact same age. And he also wants them to share his precise and in-depth love for Thomas trains. Lily has moved on and doesn't always want to do everything he does, much to his dismay. It's hard to explain to him and help him understand. I wish it were simple.
This is a tough age. For him and for me. As I watch him grow and change, I'm reminded how we all go through the growing pains of life. How there are times we all search for our place to belong and our place to be. How do I gently lead, guide and love him while attentively caring for the needs of the rest of the family?
I cannot help but wonder if this is a little how God feels. I watch my son and my heart swells as tears fill my eyes. I deeply love my son and ache for him, with the same love that Christ must feel for me. Yet still I have only felt a glimpse of that overwhelming love that He has for me.
He has a place for us and He gently watches over us and helps us find it. I hope that I can gracefully do the same for my son.