in a world running wild with intense emotion, i figured it was time to throw my hat into the ring. i’m not here to talk politics, i’m just here to spread a little JOY. at least, that’s the way these black & white photos of my precious middle son make me feel. i can’t help but smile when i look at them.
our sweet son, Lincoln, recently turned 10 years old — the much-anticipated double-digit status. Lincoln is in 4th grade, and as I said, is our middle son, sandwiched between his older brother, Silas, and his little brother, Tate. our three boys share one bedroom, and I am glad we made that decision as parents. perhaps they bicker and pick on each other more than they might if they had a bit more space to spread out, but i think they are closer for it. they have had to learn at early ages how to get along, how to resolve conflict, how to share and work together. my hope as they grow older is that they will look out for each other and take care of each other, without even realizing they’re doing it. i hope that it’s second nature. but i digress… (wait, maybe i AM talking politics!? ha!)
back to Lincoln and the boys’ room. on Lincoln’s bed, you will find several soft and snuggly blankets. Lincoln is king of the snuggle. he is a lover, so he instinctively invades your personal space in search of [giving & receiving] affection. he likes cuddles. he loves to hug and squeeze and hug some more. he thrives on closeness. one of his favorite things EVER is blankets. the softer the better. he already had two special, soft blankies on his bed, but that didn’t stop him from spending his birthday money to purchase yet another. we went to target, and my sweet son picked out the absolutely SOFTEST blanket he could find in the entire store (pictured above). i admit, it is unbelievably, luxuriously soft. and then his friend gave him yet another crazy-soft Pikachu throw blanket for his birthday, too. that’s FOUR snuggly blankets — and Lincoln is in heaven. his soft, warm, cuddly, cozy, full of joy and delight, happy place. he’s a touchy-feely, affectionate, soft and sensitive boy, and these blankets perfectly depict his personality.
i love the photos of Lincoln laughing because his giggle is distinctive. it is full and strong and infectious. the boy doesn’t hold back. his laugh is so full of life and JOY — it is most definitely one of my favorite sounds. Lincoln jumps right in and embraces his emotions. when he is mad, you know it. when he’s disappointed, it’s written all over his face. when he is excited, you see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. when he is struck with joy, he giggles. i’m talking throw-your-head-back, tears-in-his-eyes peals of laughter (see photo below).
one of my favorite things about Lincoln is his compassion and empathy. all of our boys have it, but today i celebrate these beautiful traits in Lincoln. the other night, our oldest son, Silas, didn’t feel well. his stomach was tossing and turning, and yes, eventually it ALL came out. Silas put on as brave a face as he could, but let’s just say that when the sheer volume forced itself out his nose, he just couldn’t take it, and you didn’t have to be in the room to know that he was both angry and sad. (in fact, the moment Silas got sick, Phil, Lincoln and Tate promptly left the room!) while i was helping Si, Phil was helping the younger two boys get ready for bed. when i came to say “goodnight,” Lincoln was snuggled deeply into his blankets with a look of serious concern on his face and tears in his eyes. he was worried for his big brother and didn’t want Silas to suffer. even sadness that is not his own, Lincoln feels vividly.
my hope and prayer for Lincoln this year is that he would continue to embrace his feelings and grow in awareness of them. i hope that he will express his thoughts and emotions more and more as he allows himself to feel everything that he feels. that he would trust his instincts, because he so instinctively cares for others. that he would advocate for himself. that the artist in him would continue to blossom and thrive. that he would explore and value and embrace the wonderfully unique and special young man that he is.
i love you, Lincoln boy. i’m so very proud of you. our world would be incomplete without your tender heart and your sweet snuggles. (and may we all approach each other with tender hearts and arms open wide. amen)