Sunday, March 14, 2010


Will's affectionate name for Sophie is "Sweetie-Head." He has learned about God's and his parents' unconditional love for him, and he in turn bestows it on her by reminding her:

"There is NOTHING you can do that will make you stop being my Sweetie!"

Of course, our mischievous Rof takes this as a personal challenge and tries her best to aggravate him, just to ask, "Am I still your Sweetie?" He growls and sighs, "Yes, you are still my Sweetie."

So, in view of her tests, he has developed a Sweetie-number system through which he tracks our standings. Therefore, she can remain his Sweetie while suffering a decline in Sweetie-number as a result of her irritations.

For a while, my Sweetie-number was always 16, while Sophie's was 100. However, from school he's recently developed a better grasp of higher numbers, so my Sweetie-number is now usually somewhere around 10 to the 12th power, or in Will's words "One, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero...".

Tonight at dinner we had a small conflict as a result of him being rude and demanding. As I scolded him, Will's countenance (as it often does) transformed immediately from intolerant despot to injured victim, complete with tears.

Tonight we were back on good terms and I was getting ready to leave his bedroom. (When it's my turn to get them to bed, after reading and prayers, I put Sophie to bed and come back to say goodnight. And each night, he asks me, "Do you have anything you want to say?" and I tell him I love him or I'm so glad God gave him to me or something similar. Then he'll say, "We're starting the New Usual**." We lay in silence for a few moments, then I say goodnight and leave.)

This time, for the first time ever, after I'd made my final statement of love and pride, Will said, "Well, I have something to say. Even though I was disappointed in you tonight, I don't want you to think it changed your Sweetie-number."

{smile} Before parenthood, who could have foreseen the little declarations that one day would give us joy? Who else can understand the rewards of love that these tiny innocent souls offer us again and again? This night, Will had perceived my flawed humanity and was still offering me his love and acceptance. It meant as much as all the hero-worship I've received over the years as a mom and will never live up to.

** The New Usual became effective when Sophie got old enough to require extra attention at bedtime, and I explained to Will that I could no longer stay "the usual amount" of time with him at night. "There's going to have to be a 'new usual'", I explained then. Since then, the New Usual has come to symbolize a few moments of silent companionship just before bed. There is no talking allowed. In fact, even [my apparently] loud breathing is discouraged.


Amy said...

What a touching moment! I'm so impressed with Will's maturity. In your Will stories I can see little bits of your and Andy's personality. Kids are just amazing.
BTW, I still laugh thinking about when Will wore red all the time because he was working at . . . Chuckie Cheese or Target??? And when he wore the sweater vest Emily asked if he'd been promoted to management. Still cracks me up.

The Pharrs said...

Kathy! I loved this! What a sweet child! I love that he still loves even after Sophie aggravates.

Mindy said...

Oh, I love this story!

Unknown said...

You just used the words countenance,intolerant, and despot in a blog post. So impressed with your writing ability...wish my vocabulary wasn't constantly shrinking. All I seem to need these days are "Don't touch that," "Quit bothering your brother", etc.
I love your stories, that Will is so interesting!!