Justin works evening shift, so five nights a week, I do post-nap, supper, bedtime routine alone with three boys three and under. It seems like the closer we get to bed time, the crazier the boys become. They'll run giggling and screaming all around the house, jumping on the bed, falling off of the couch on purpose, wrestling each other - it's wild.
I love it - I love that they have such energy, and that they love each other and play together. But some nights, I get exhausted before I get them in bed, and when I'm running on empty, sometimes I run out of grace.
Our middle boy, if you don't know already, is THE wild and crazy one. He invented the bedtime games. He could climb before he could walk. He is daring, bold, brave, and an assortment of other adjectives along those lines. He is afraid of very little (birds and squirrels, he tells me, because they will bite him).
He is sometimes like a bull in a china shop. He crashes over and into people and things. He has all that energy and has the coordination of a two year old, as well as the guts (insanity?) to do it on purpose sometimes. He's not malicious. He's actually a softie and my snuggliest kid. But he gets a thrill out of being wild. He also does what a two-year-old wildboy does, and that is just run, and not really think about what will happen.
Tonight, I got onto him for climbing/rolling/barging through a stack of coloring pages and hitting the computer with a toy sword. Both were unintentional side effects of some crazy game he was playing. I didn't think too much of it, because the bedtime routine is a busy one and I was distracted after that.
Tonight after the boys were all in bed, I came to sit down and I saw the coloring pages and the toy sword sitting on our ottoman. The coloring pages aren't important. The computer has withstood much more abuse than a whack with a toy sword.
I do believe in discipline, and in training up your children to know right from wrong, and to know appropriate from inappropriate, and so on. But did I get onto him for doing something wrong or inappropriate? I didn't yell, but I spoke roughly. It didn't really have much of an effect on him, as he was in the middle of being a human steamroller - but if I do it over and over again, getting onto him for things he doesn't intend to do, as a two year old little boy, then what?
Shame on me if I let my exhaustion stamp out his energy and daring. God made him this way. Yes, he is a sinner, just like everyone else, but a little boy being wild and crazy is not a sin. God made him bold and brave and crazy. God made him rough and silly. He is fearfully and wonderfully made.
And for one day when he might read this - I love you, Levi James. I'll try to keep the wild in you, where God put it.