The wind was blowing through the trees causing the leaves to click together in symphony, as they do. The heat of summer was slowly fading, and the hint of Autumn lingered somewhere just off to the East…
“…When will I know, mom?” He asked.
“When will you know what, my love?”
“When will I know I’m big?”
He stood in our backyard, puzzling up at me with his liquid blue eyes, long delicate eyelashes cascading down and fluttering against his cheek.
I remember holding my breath at his ultrasound.
The last time I’d had one of them, it was to confirm the loss of his sibling. I remember the tiny, unmoving picture on the screen. Willing the little flickering to begin, but knowing deep down it wasn’t to be.
But with him, he lit up the whole screen. He danced and wiggled, his heart drumming steadily, lighting up the room.
He was larger than life, even then, it seemed.
I’ve been looking into those big blue eyes of his since he first exploded out into the world.
Not meek, and small, like I’d assumed a baby should- but roaring like a lion out into existence. Even when his tiny lungs weren’t quite ready. He fought like a little warrior to be here with us.
He stared up at me, swaddled up tightly, as I sat holding him in the NICU. Only a few days later, he was ready to come home.
I remember the first time he fell and hit his head on the table in the living room.
I screamed, and we rushed him to the ER, convinced he was concussed. He hardly cried, even when they had to glue him back together. He just smiled up at the doctor. Scrappy little thing that he was.
I remember being on the playground with him, watching all of the other kids avoid another boy who didn’t mirror the other children perfectly. They all knew there was something different, and I think they may have been afraid.
Not my boy, though. He ran up, smiling wildly.
“Hi, my name is Parker. Do you want to play with me?”
I remember his first day of preschool. There was NO stopping him. At the end of the day, his teacher smiled up at me…tired…but completely in love- as everyone who grows to know him is. “He has LOTS of energy!” She laughed.
I remember laying in his bed talking about all of the people in the world that don’t have what we have. Talking about the kids who don’t have homes, or food, or anyone to keep them safe. I remember him angrily looking up at me with tears spilling over onto his bed.
“That’s not true, mom!” He challenged. “JESUS loves them, and HE will keep them safe!”
I remember his teacher telling me that he refused to play Peter when his class was acting out the story in the Bible where he walks to Jesus on the water. He said, “I don’t want to play Peter. I don’t want to take my eyes off of Jesus.”
And just when I think that heart of his couldn’t possibly grow any larger…
The other day, he told his dad and I that he wanted to bust open his piggy bank so he could give the money away to those kids who needed it.
“I can always save more money,” he’d said.
So I sat there, in our backyard, looking into those eyes of his.
The eyes that had shown me over and over exactly what the love of Jesus looks like.
The eyes, belonging to the small boy,
with the endless amount of energy,
and the enormous heart.
I smiled, “You’ve always been big. Little one…
You’re the biggest person I know.
I don’t think you’ve ever known another way to be.”
He smiled back. The fading summer sun catching in his eyes, causing them to twinkle with mischief…
“OK. Can we go play pirates now?”
“Yep, Let’s go play pirates.”