We drew a wild card this year, but it just so happens I have an ace in the hole. Lucky Logan Peters turns lucky #7 today. He’s sporting his first wiggly tooth and counting on some bank from the tooth fairy this week. Who knows, today might even be the lucky day at the rate things are going!
Seven. Years. My May Day, mayday! Snow storm and all! I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the little things that continue to amaze me about my strong-willed, not-so-little-anymore boy. He is finishing up his first grade year at Wayne Elementary. What a year it has been. He loves having Mrs. Thomas for his teacher. Best one he’s ever had, he says. I ask him, “Well, what about Mrs. Rockhill, your kindergarten teacher?” He just smiles and slyly says, “She was the best one I ever had last year.” Right or wrong, he always has a clever answer regardless of the question.
It’s been a rough year on every child. Logan has struggled with reading and writing. He still has a hard time remembering which way his b’s and d’s go, and he would much rather listen to me read a story than read it himself. I have struggled with the fact that maybe I haven’t invested enough time in him to teach him what he needs to know. All the same, he has persevered. His vocabulary and comprehension skills are impressive when he wants them to be. I continue to reiterate that “there is a lot of Peters in that one.” (He gets much of his ambition for schoolwork from his dad.) Yet, when you ask him about why farmers apply anhydrous ammonia to a corn field, he correlates it perfectly to a can of Right Guard deodorant spray. In his words, “You see, anhydrous pulls the moisture out of the ground in much the same way that deodorant keeps perspiration out of your armpit.” What? Mind blown. He is a smart cookie. He just needs to apply his work to something that he actually cares about like farming, tractors, large agricultural equipment, annoying his younger brother, or livestock.
The other night I was enjoying a cold beverage on the patio thinking about how much patience it takes to wait for a seed to pop out of the ground or for the trees to bud in the spring. This got me thinking of the patience a 6-year old needs to have the month before he turns 7. All of the anticipation, the hints being dropped about presents, and the talk of how he will escape all those birthday spankings have been a part of our daily conversation (not to mention the impending loss of that wiggly tooth)! While every parent in America is experiencing a significant decline in their level of patience, think about what the children of the world have had to endure. My boys have had to sit quietly through Zoom contract overview meetings, house showings, apartment inspections, and night or weekend implement service calls as the world they know was literally turned upside down overnight. Somedays, I have to continually remind myself that my MOST ESSENTIAL job is raising two little boys! Our backup daycare providers are busy in the field too. Through all of this, I’d like to think we are teaching our boys work ethic and the value of a job well done, but I fear that I am teaching them that they will always have to take the back burner to someone or something else. I fear that the patience they have shown to all of us throughout the last 30 plus days will run out and they will rebel. We’ve been through the melt downs, the homework fights, the rage of no afternoon nap, and the sadness of no time to plant our garden yet or to test out a new bike on the trail. Nonetheless, we can all learn from a 7-year-old to show a little more patience through grace.
Earlier this week, Logan did end up spending a day at the farm helping fertilize and plant corn. He loves to help with chores and fieldwork. He was helping scoop the bunks prior to feeding cattle that evening, and he didn’t notice that his cousin was standing right behind him (social distancing is hard for little kids). He smacked his little buddy right in the face with his scoop handle and cut a gash above the little guy’s lip. Logan felt so bad he cried and cried when he got home. We called out to the farm to check on his cousin later that evening, and Logan even sat down and made him a homemade “sorry” card with candy taped to it. He cares about doing the right thing, and he cares about others. It is one of the most honorable characteristics a 7-year-old can have in my opinion. He has also gotten really good at being a big brother by teaching his little bro all the tricks of the trade.
This leads to my last sentiment for the day. Seven years ago I woke up in a recovery room having barely seen my newborn baby boy before being sedated shortly after his birth. I was sad because everybody in the hospital got to hold him and see him before I did. It wasn’t my perfect vision of motherhood. In fact, not much of my experience in the past seven years has been the perfect vision of motherhood I had when I was 20 years old and my life was all planned out. It took a lot of faith for this first-time mom to face the daunting task of parenthood seven years ago. And, it still takes faith every day to trust that I am doing the right things as a mom. Logan spurs my success as a mom and business woman regularly. He supports my decisions, yet never hesitates to offer his own advice, help, and encouragement when needed. He has faith in me.
Logan is my very special, hard-working, stubborn-as-a-mule, little man. On this very important day, we shall put aside all of the anxiety, stress, uneasiness, and speculation encompassing our lives. This is his day. He is going to have to sit through some boring apartment inspections, but I’ll probably let him squeak by with little or no homework. And tonight, we’ll dine on grilled hamburgers…or tacos (he hasn’t decided yet) while we play a game of catch with his new baseball mitt or zip around the block on his new-to-him bike with real shocks and a shifter. Most importantly, we will eat peanut butter cake with ice cream at his brother’s demand. Life isn’t all real estate and roses, but the perseverance, patience, caring, and faith of a new 7-year-old means we will have our cake and eat it too. Welcome Home.