So we are in the midst of a storm. A big ol' messy storm. I won't bore you with the details but suffice to say that some parts of parenting are absolutely no fun... and not for the weak at heart (which I am, unfortunately). I love each of my babies more than Satan does tho and I won't let him have the control he so desires. Nope. No way.
That said... this morning on our way to school, Josh was riding 'middle shotgun' (no lectures please) in the Tahoe, playing football on his ipad and not listening (or understanding) a thing we were saying.
Or so I thought.
The conversation was not a fun one. It was a tough one. It was along the lines of standing up for what's right, being different in this big bad world, making tough (and good) choices, standing out from the crowd because you're not following the crowd... all those things we seem to repeat over and over (and over) and hope something sinks in to their teenaged minds. (There are many details I'm leaving out for obvious reasons, but you get my drift).
They were all listening, sometimes giving examples of how they have tried, or how hard it actually IS to do what I'm asking of them (they forget I was there once and I totally wish I could tell them I didn't fail almost daily, was a stand out in the way of good choices and STILL was popular... because popular is what it's all about, you know... but I can't tell them that).
We were almost to the middle school (so that's about 8 to 10 minutes of conversation for those of you who aren't familiar with where on earth the middle school is in correlation with our home)... and... I kid you not... Joshua looked up from his ipad and began singing... I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.
(Do you know the song? It goes like this:
I have decided to follow Jesus... I have decided to follow Jesus... I have decided to follow Jesus... no turning back, no turning back.
Tho none go with me, I still will follow... tho none go with me, I still will follow, tho none go with me, I still will follow... no turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me... the world behind me, the cross before me... the world behind me, the cross before me... no turning back, no turning back.
Will you decide now, to follow Jesus?... will you decide now, to follow Jesus?... will you decide now, to follow Jesus?... no turning back, no turning back.)
We all just sorta looked at each other. How fitting. How appropriate. How did he know?
And let it be known that I don't even remember the last time we sang that in church, OR at home, nor is it one of the hymns he typically belts out, nor did I even know he KNEW the song.
Once again, God used Josh to ground us. He gave Josh a song that spoke directly to us. He reminded us, thru Josh, that He is bigger than all the things that this big bad world has to offer. And He is able.
Some people say that those with Down Syndrome are more Christ-like than the rest of us. I sometimes agree.
And THEN...on the way to HIS school, just Josh and I in the vehicle (just so you don't think I'm putting my son up WAY to high on that pedestal)... he begins whining. Just like a little baby.
The conversation went like this:
Me: Josh, stop whining. Only babies whine. Only little babies whine like that Josh.
Josh: And me.
Me: Josh, Daddy doesn't whine and Caleb and Jared don't whine... big boys don't whine, do they Josh?
Josh: No mom (insert whine just for whine's sake).
Me: Josh, you sound like a little baby. Big boys don't whine.
Josh: I do mom.
That's my boy... straight from somewhat sacred to severely sarcastic (and sinful) in a matter of minutes. He's so... so... um... human.
I encourage all of you parents out there... talk to your kids. Things are going on at school (and elsewhere) that you can't even fathom. Talk to them but then check up on them. Don't trust them completely... they are kids. They WILL make bad choices, do bad things, make bad mistakes. They NEED us to check up on them, pick them up when they fall. They need us to educate ourselves on what they hear, see, do... even at school where you think they are safe. Love them more than the world does.
Okay... jumping down from my soapbox and going to plan dinner...