I am sitting at my desk in our study. It’s early morning, just before sunrise. Everything is peaceful and quiet in our house – my family is still asleep. This is an important time of the day for me. It’s the best time to talk to God and then plan the day ahead. Time to respond to urgent matters before the rush and craziness of the day sets in.
Just as I am getting on a roll, my six year old son comes wandering down the stairs. He woke up early this morning and got up before his siblings. I hear his sleepy little steps on the laminated floor as he comes through my study door, squinting from the sudden light. At first I’m frustrated by the interruption – my time is SO limited and I usually try to fit too much into this early morning session. But as he draws nearer, I see his beautiful olive eyes and recognise my own in them. I stop typing and watch him move closer. “Good morning my boy” I say softly as not to wake the rest of the household. I notice his hair – the wild blonde curls, still bed-head style. I run my hands through it as he comes and sits on my lap. I turn around to the window and open up the blinds to let the first gentle rays of sunshine caress our faces as we sit there and talk. We gaze out the window at a bird hunting for his first catch on the lawn. We talk about birds and animals and how it is that some can fly. And of his dream to one day become a “doctor for strange animals” – animals that other animal doctors can’t or won’t help and how he will make a difference that way. We talk about stuff that constitutes his universe – important observations, perceptions and conclusions being formed in his mind. He wants to make a difference – make the world a better place. This strong willed little man with his (sometimes) wicked sense of humour has always been a champion of the underdog; finding a “place of safety” for a frog captured by the neighbours’ kids and defending his sister who has lost clout with mom.
Suddenly I realize how blessed a man I am. This is my son; the eldest of our offspring of four; the first bearer of my family name. He has already taken up the role of leader, protector and mentor to his siblings, albeit from the limited perspective of a six year old. Sitting on my lap is a most precious gift of God, awaiting my inputs and guidance to make this world a better place – starting right here and right now.
When our chat ends, I kiss the crown of his head before he walks away. This is, without a doubt, the best time of my day – time with my child. His character is now strengthened. His self-worth reinforced and his sense of direction reaffirmed. My little prince is ready to take on the world. He is my son, and I have never been more proud of him.
I am the captain of my child’s heart; the keeper of his thoughts. I will guard and direct his mind so he can grow strong and resilient with a moral compass. I will connect with him often to strengthen and nourish his character. I will pray with him daily to teach him where his Strength lies. And when the time comes, I will send him into this world with a big heart and a strong character. His heart will be big enough to support the needy and strong enough to defend the weak. He is of me, but he is not mine. He belongs to God, and His work here has just started!