When you first think about having children, you immediately begin looking around at all the parents around you. Suddenly strangers in the mall become examples of what you want and what you don't want in terms of the personality of your child. Basic decisions are made as to the values you want to instill in your son or daughter. Things such as spanking (we do), putting a leash on your child (we will never do), and using the T.V as a babysitter (we don't as much as we used to do) all become things you spend months tossing around. No matter how much prep time you put into having a baby though you never really get any sense that all your hard work is producing the right fruit until years after the child has arrived home wrapped tight in that blue and white striped hospital blanket.
Recently as if he got caught up in all that is coming alive around him as Spring takes a hold of us, Fred is sprouting more and more each day. Take this past Easter for example: After church while Lucy and the Gigi prepared the feast, Fred decided that what he wanted to do most in the world was ride up & down the road passing out pennies to our neighbors while making sure to wish them a HAPPY EASTER!
Getting to the bottom of a Happy Meal only to find that he had already gotten the prize once before used to be a bummer, now is a chance to give a gift to a friend. "This one is for Max!" he said with giant smile on his face.
A kiss goodnight was once a request and now it's a gift given to Mommy before bedtime.
Words like Thank you, Please, You're Welcome have taken the place of I WANT THAT!
The best fruit of all though is that which is given in the form of a compliment from his teacher at church or from a mother at a birthday party he was invited too. These are the ones that mean the most simply because it means that he's being polite and good not because we are standing over his shoulder, but because it's who he is. And who is he is, is my favorite thing in this whole world.