That Child

Everyone has one.  Right?  Everyone, whether they have two children or twelve, they have one.  I'm trying to make a statement, but maybe I'm asking a question.  I'm referring to that child that causes the frequent heavy sigh...not of disappointment, but of relief that the hour is 2 pm and he is still physically here, healthy and of course lovable.  I have one.  He has been the child that causes my prayers to go like this:  "Please dear Lord, keep Benjamin safe today.  Thank you for his life...please protect it and allow us to say 'goodnight' tonight and 'goodmorning' tomorrow to him."  Thank you to Benjamin's guardian angel...actually, he probably has several! 

Now...I pretty much pray that for all of my children, but for Benjamin, I truly pray that the child does not get hit by a car because he wants to see if it could really happen, or jump off the roof to see how far he might be able to glide, or leave my side in a store because he has things he wants to investigate, or leave the store completely because he's bored.  I mean that I really pray that he lives all day today to tomorrow, everyday!

Ben is independent, creative, energetic and curious.  He is my child that has made me tired by the end of the day since he was born.  While there is always a way to do things, there is usually also his way to do things.  He is the fourth of five boys, making it seem that he has waited a lifetime to do everything.  Something that is typically introduced to a 6 year old, was introduced to him by the time he was 18 months, so he's been waiting longer than anyone to do it.  (It doesn't really ever matter what 'it' is either.)

He is a cook, a baker, a builder, and artist, an athlete, a gamer, a comedian.  He is a good brother and a good son.  He is a different child when it is just him...but then again, all of the kids are.  He thrives in a structured environment and he is easy to get a long with--if you're his friend, but his brothers may say something differently for now.

I can't really ever put my finger on a specific thing that makes me feel that he is so different from the rest.  They're all energetic, ornry, beautiful, obedient, naughty, polite, disgusting (in that "see how gross I can be" kind of way).  He has the most contagious, deep, robust laugh I've ever heard.  Frequently, he has us all laughing so hard, and when we can finally breathe again, we have no idea what we were laughing at!   But Ben is persistent.  Maybe more so than any of the rest of them.  He can be so ornry, that we laugh and comment that he will grow up to be a priest and his mama is going to be a saint immediately!   He has no fear...and maybe that is what scares the daylights out of me the most.  He thinks he is ready to stay home and babysit!  I think it will be a while!!!!  Lots can happen when he is unsupervised...even for a few minutes!  He is it from both of us I guess!!  He's climbed out windows while we thought he was napping and visited each of the neighbors homes before someone finally called us to notify us that he was roaming.  He's hidden in closets before and fallen asleep causing panic amongst us.  He wears the same the same clothes over and over, pulling them out of the pile before washing and he sneaks them under his clean clothes so that he can change enroute to wherever we're going. 

He is also genuinely remorseful almost all of the time, but easily tempted to repeat the offense just as often.  You can litterally see the desire to be good in him.  He tries so hard sometimes.  I guess as it is with them all, he is a "work in progress".  We're trying to raise a man, so while he is a boy, it must be constant and consistent.  I thought it would be good to document his energy.  I'm not searching for an evaluation or a diagnosis or advice or sympathy or anything else for that matter...just remembering.

Recently, he decided to walk home from the baseball field, which is about two miles from our house.  On a normal summer day, with an older sibling, this may have been ok, but he left by himself, unannounced in 40 degree weather at dusk.  He got about a half mile when someone pulled over to ask him what was going on.  He was cold and he was crying.  He told her his phone number so she called me to say she was with him and kept me on the phone with her while she brought him home.  One of those moments where I wanted to hug him and then spank him and then hug him again!!!!

Millie and I planting the day before the chickens were let out.
 Yesterday, he 'forgot' to tell anyone that he let the chickens out, which normally would be ok, but since the garden is newly planted, they like to scratch up all of the seed and make a mess.  Indeed, that is how it turned out.  I have no idea if any of it can be salvaged or not, so we'll try to get it all replanted.

We have days that he is extra full of vinegar.  Today is one of those days.  He has pretty much been in trouble all day long.  At the end of today, I will hug him and hold him and tell him I love him--again.  Today, he needed the keys to get something out of the Suburban.  I obliged, but when he didn't return moments later to give them back to me as instructed, I went out.  The kids like to play in the cars, which is pretty much against the rules since everything gets turned on, turned upside down and the battery usually ends up dead.  Well, I was surprised, because in addition to being IN the Suburban, he and Joe had somehow accomplished backing it about 4 feet out of the garage!  They were working together.  Near as I could tell in the brevity of my evaluation, Joe was running the pedals while Ben was in charge of the steering wheel.  There was a bike parked behind the Suburban and the position of the tires and the vehicle itself indicated that continued progress on their part would have indeed knocked the corner of the garage off!  In the same day, he coaxed Joe up on to the hood of the Suburban which resulted in a windshield wiper being broken...for the third time. 

Here are a few of the times I didn't know what else to do but snap a picture:  (disclaimer:  while I can look back and laugh now, I'm not usually amused when it happens, but feel the desire to capture it on film anyway.  I also must add that there are always consequences for his actions...when they're good and when they're not.  I probably won't find 100 random people who all think I always handle them the right way...part of my growing too.  AND...he may cause me to sigh deeply, but I love him just as deep)

Ben's version of breakfast...not the right cooking tools.

Deciding that he had a cough and would save me the trouble of measuring the right dose.

An actual tasty result...Ben's double cocoa, rice krispie, and something else cookies.

Thirsty??  Try six packets of Crystal light to one glass of water.

Self-imposed tatoos

Apparently it is good for your complexion too.

And of course, he sleeps (typical after the vinegar that he is filled with dissipates and he is left knowing that there are some consequences he won't like)  It is just easier to fall alseep than deal with more consequences.  NOTE:  the baseball clothes are the current everyday clothes and probably will be until the end of the season!