The buffalo boy smell is very distinct.
Sunshine and sweat, with a hint of fresh cut grass and a little musty dirt and you, have a spicy, pungent smell only a mother could love, err… tolerate.
It knows one discretion. Pixie’s get a sunshine smell, vandals get the buffalo boy smell.
Our two adopted sons, the vandals, are 3 and 5-years-old.
Our two biological sons, the man babies, are 17 and 18-years-old.
Brothers from other mothers, the two pairs are very different. Or maybe I am just old.
Back in the day, the man babies weren’t Vandals. They were not mischievous or pugnacious. Maybe it was because their older Pixie sister had such a presence. She was calm… easy going. Maggie, our first born was so utterly chill, when she was three she threw a temper tantrum in Target, the behavior was so unlike her…
I took her to the emergency room.
She was diagnosed with an unremitting want of a Barbie.
That’ll be $1209.00… and your dignity.
My best friend’s husband always joked that they weren’t raising homing pigeons… they were raising eagles.
Of all things parenting and all things most unfair, the transformation from being the purest love in a smelly boy’s life to somewhat tolerated and occasionally compulsory… is literally the worst.
When I left to speak in Dallas this week the vandals stood by the door and lamented my departure.
The five-year-old pleaded, “But I just want you to stay here wif me and keep twelling me you loves me…” The three-year-old concurred, “Ya mommy, stay here and eat cheese and Fwosted Fwakes wif us.”
And I am not stupid.
The man babies love me, but honestly, provided they have plenty of soft-cheese and Frosted Flakes, they don’t need me anymore.
The younger of the man babies is still a hugger and occasionally I can tug on an ear, the older of the two is consistent in his cuddling preferences.
Even as a little baby he refused to be rocked and he never latched on to nurse. Even the breast-feeding consultant was mystified by his repulsion to my bare bosom. If he could have spoken I swear he would have said, “Good grief, cover yourself woman and get me a freakin’ cup.”
I know, I sound like I am complaining.
I swear I am not.
The essential sting of motherhood is that you invest every bit of yourself… heart, soul, hopes, dreams, dignity, privacy, budget, and sanity.
And then… you’re done.
Your services are no longer needed here ma’am
The stories of smelly boys, naked in the sandbox are not welcomed memories to man babies.
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They are embarrassed or irritated with the sweet accounts.
And they would you prefer you not share them with their Marine recruiter – please.
My heart is fully engaged.
And I had a good cry this afternoon. The man baby leaves for Marine Bootcamp in 19 days.
I was driving his old Ford and I was slain by the memory of him in a car seat in this same vehicle… 219,000 miles ago.
How does this happen? How does a cherub turn into a man baby… and what will the man baby be like as a Marine?
So I took the opportunity, all by myself, yet never alone to fall into the arms of my Jesus. We recounted the journey and cried and laughed.
I am grateful to have raised an eagle… I am delighted to surrender him further from the nest. I am not a helicopter mom and we didn’t raise snowflakes.
But I will miss him.
My children walk in the favor of the Lord.
He is for them.
He is with them…
He came to give them life abundant.
The nature of an apple tree is to produce apples. The nature of the Spirit I taught my babies about is to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
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He’ll take it from here.
And I am all good, comfortable in the arms of a Savior who loves them, although it seems impossible, more than I.
I’ll do this again, a lady-baby will be a bride, a foster-love will go home, a vandal will become a man-baby…
Still, He is for me.
He is with me.
And He came to comfort me and give me life abundant.
I am a mom filled with the spirit, therefore it is my nature… to love.
Motherhood is a joy.
It taught me patience.
I know they remember the kindness, I pray the outbursts where I threatened to sell them or kick their lungs out are fading; replace with the goodness of bedtime stories, grilled cheese, and chocolate chip cookies.
The spirit encourages me to remember the faithfulness…. The hope – believing He will stay with them.
The gentleness of my touch might fade – but it was there when it mattered.
And while self-control hasn’t been my nature, I will fully rely on the Spirit to contain the emotions that will keep me from going backwoods, ape crazy when one a piece of my soul boards a bus to become a Marine.
If that doesn’t work out, I am sure you can catch the actual event on the 6:00 news or on YouTube.
Even from my jail cell, tightly wrapped in the comfort of my straight jacket, banned from all activities in the 50-states involving the United States Military…
He is for me.
He is with me…
And He will restore that which completely gets away from me when my nature… Mom… loses her ever-loving mind when her eagle takes flight.
May your floors be sticky and your calling be MOM. Love, Jami
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
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