Since I posted the last blog about Kassie, I've thought of several more specific things I could add. But I guess that's the whole point -- to keep discovering wonderful things about each other everyday - to look for the good, always. (Isn't that from Pollyanna - 'if you look for the good in others, you surely will find it') So, on to Stephen.
I LOVE how Stephen:
1. has a beautiful, very large vocabulary.
2. loves to eat toast. How can he be so thin and eat as much toast as he does? I'm jealous...
3. is very sensitive to me and my feelings. If he ever thinks I'm in trouble - if I drop something or hurt myself, he's always the first to come running saying 'are you OK Mom?'
4. wants to be a little kid... although he enjoys being the eldest, he loves to still cuddle and play and be silly. When the kids all wanted to pose by themselves by this Scotland statue, he wanted to do the same thing, just because they did...
5. wants to be a grown-up kid... isn't it interesting how we just don't realize how short our childhood is... kids want to grow up so fast! But he does like the idea of being the oldest child, and getting privileges that go along with that... staying up later, etc.
6. is a clean freak! Almost a Germophobe... cracks us up how he wants to wash his hands the second he comes in the house, after he plays, doesn't want to use anyone else's towel... he's very clean conscious. So cute.
7. loves little children! I think he would love for us to have more kids... he absolutely adores playing with babies. Tonight we hosted the cutest family from here in town - and Stephen just doted on little Phillip the whole evening...
8. is polite. He's growing up to be such a mature big boy. I sometimes watch him and imagine him as a missionary, meeting people. The other day in the park, we were all playing and we met a cute new family, and I was talking with the mom, and Stephen left the other kids and walked over and introduced himself to the mom I was chatting with, asked her where she was from, how long she'd lived here, if she likes it, kept good eye contact the whole time, then said, well, nice to meet you! And walked back to the kids. The mom just looked and me and made a noise like she was flabbergasted and said - what?? How... what... how did he learn to do that? I was very humbled.
9. protects his siblings. When we thought we lost Kenny for 10 seconds in London's busy Trafalgar Square, it gave us all a very big scare. For the ENTIRE rest of the trip, Stephen never let Kenny leave his sight - he held his hand everywhere we went. It was so sweet.
10. is honest. He'll always tell me what happened, even if may result in consequences. He told me the other day 'Mom, I'm playing on this website and when the aliens die, there's a bit of green blood.. I probably shouldn't play it, huh?' I had to laugh - he was being so good about telling me everything that was going on. (I didn't make him turn it off - I think the green blood's OK...)
11. has lovely handwriting. It's always been beautiful, since he was a young boy. He's a perfectionist and loves precision.
12. is a reader. I've always heard that 'readers are leaders' - I can see how reading certainly helps develop leadership skills: thinking, speaking well, sorting out thoughts, problem-solving, having empathy toward others less fortunate... etc. He gets sucked into whatever he's reading and it's great.
13. has a sense of 'rightness.' He's always the first to apologize if there has been a disagreement and he had partial fault in it. I've also heard him explain to his friends why he doesn't see PG13 movies - generally - some exceptions ofcourse, if he's read the book, or earned it somehow. But I admire how even though others his age and younger are seeing those movies, he's able to be fine with our family decision and stand by it.
14. has his 'ailments'. 8-) I LOVE this part of him. When he gets hurt, it's truly like he almost died. A scratch, a hit, it's practically the end of the world. Always great drama surrounds his injuries. Then soonafter, he's OK. I found this pic of him back in Texas, with his rice bag, obviously trying to 'heal' after some affliction. It's just one of his cute little quirks - like how he gags when he eats yogurt with big fruit chunks, or how he picks his fingernails. We all have our little quirks... his are endearing.
16. likes to play games. Chess, UNO, legos, online battle games, sword-fighting, bow-and-arrows, sneaking up and scaring us... you name it. He wants to play it.
17. has a good memory. He'll sometimes recount things from his childhood - funny memories that I've already forgotten - like how we dug for grub worms together in our garden back in Texas... it's those good times that fill our little kids' brains and hearts and make them who they are.
18. prays. I often have said that when my Grandpa George would pray, I felt like I wanted to open my eyes and watch him because it was as if he was talking directly to God, who must have been sitting right in the room with him, because of his emotion and genuine way of praying. Stephen's prayers have a wonderful, meaningful style all of his own ~ he not only uses his great vocabulary, but he remembers specific things and people - that we've studied about (like those in the 10-40 window) and talked about. It's nice to participate in that with him... seeing him understand the importance of what a privilege it is to talk with God. We read that great 'Friend' article recently about how it could take months or even years to get an appointment to talk with a President of a country, and yet in 1 second, we are able to have the full, undivided attention of the all-powerful Creator of the Universe. Truly, what a humbling privilege.
19. is dynamic. We recently met a cute man in the next town over - Borex - just by regularly biking past his house to go see the chicken/peacock pen. We've become friends with him, and he invited us to come pick his apples and plums anytime. When Stephen talks to him, he just busts out into French, and does such a great job. It makes me feel so proud! It's fun to see him develop his personality and assertiveness.
20. is very disciplined. He's become quite good at self-governing, whether it's in home-schooling, or what he watches.
21. is willing to try new things. Drinking the daily veggie juice, trying the handball class, eating the baby squid (that Grandma offered him $5 to eat...) - that's a great quality. Open-mindedness.
Bottom line: what a great kid. We're so glad he's ours.