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A year of stories 52/52

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When you finish reading our story, don’t forget to follow the circle, starting with my friend, Julie Mak.

I started this project with a post about my son growing up and my fears associated with that.
And, here I am, ending the year with a similar post.

Last January, I was wrestling with the emotions of him not wanting to spend as much time with me.
I vowed to say, “yes,” to all of the mom/son dates, nature walks and heart-to-heart talks.
He’s still all about hanging out with me, until he wants to hang out with his friends.
And I’m good with that.  I love that he has awesome friends.

But I still worry.

I see him playing differently with some friends than others,
being silly with his sister and younger friends, but not wanting to let his guard down when older friends are near.

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I get that this is just a path he has to live, decisions he has to make about who he is.
But I see the uncertainty, the craving for direction and guidance.
He’s brave and bold one second,
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tentative and unsure the next

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He’s an encourager and leader, even a risk taker at times,
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but then he questions himself, turns back, decides being safe might be the better answer.
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I don’t think considering both sides is a bad thing.
I don’t think any of this is abnormal for a boy of this age.
He’s supposed to be finding himself and figuring out where he stands and what he stands for.

I have peace with the most important things.
He knows God.
He has a kind heart.
He loves big.

What I worry about is that growing up will take away something he is so certain about now – imagination and creating.
Before we went on our walk, he wanted to sit down and sketch a story about what we might find in the woods.
This is an abandoned house with “friendly ghosts,” an old Girl Scout meeting area that met an untimely end.
I love that creative mind of his and I see how he lights up when he’s inside his imagination.

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I know all too well how creativity can be influenced by others’ influence and judgment.
When I see him tentative about how to play around older kids,
I see this doubt creeping in.
Is it okay to play make-believe?
Is it acceptable to be creative?

My prayer for him this year as he faces the uncertainty and change that come with turning 9
is that he is able to hold onto those things that fill his heart with joy,
that he is confident in his convictions and creativity,
that he holds onto that world-changing original way of seeing things for a lifetime.

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