I laugh when I think of Ian's antics over the years; the trouble he gets himself into and sometimes talks his way out of, his creativity in trying to cover his tracks. When he was younger and wanted to do something that he knew wasn't okay, he would tell me, "Go away, Mom," or "Close your eyes, Mom," punctuating his statement with a slight shove. I think he's finally come to the realization that when he says these things, I'm totally on to him.
This endearing little human has embarrassed me on many occasions. During a Sacrament Meeting several years past he loudly declared, "Jesus is stupid! I hate Jesus!" Mortified, I acted immediately, removing him from the worship service. Much to my surprise, he walked calmly down the aisle beside me, a permagrin attached to his face. Smart stinker made the hideous outburst for the sole purpose of being able to hang out in the foyer. Imagine his fury when his devious plan backfired and he had to spend the entire time on my lap. It was not pretty and many people stared, probably wondering if they should call 911 because this poor child was obviously being abused. Funny thing, I was the one who got headbutted in the mouth and had scratches up and down my arms. I kept staring at the sign hanging on the wall stating that Reverence is the atmosphere of Heaven. Well in that moment I'd found Hell right in the middle of church, complete with a demon on my lap.
Over the years I've tried to instill a sense of love, generosity, compassion, honesty, and reverence in my boy. It hasn't been easy. Many days I feel I've failed. But then, something happens to let me know that my teaching is not in vain. Somewhere, somehow, something is getting through.
I recently had the misfortune of being a victim of muscle spasms in my lower back. Quite severe to be honest. Ian seems to understand pain when he sees others hurting. Particularly if he knows the pain took them to the emergency room. He is well aquainted with the ER. So when I told him I needed his help because my back hurt, his compassion came shining through. I was kneeling on the floor, gritting my teeth, attempting to change Christeal's diaper. She was wiggly and kicking, making the task insurmountable. Ian came up behind me and began to run his little fingers up and down my back. He said, "This will help, Mom. It always makes me feel better." And you know what? It did. At the beginning of this week, we went to dinner for Tawni's birthday. I attempted to extract myself from the car in the Sizzler parking lot. Ian stood beside me and said, "You need some help, Mom?" and offered me his hand. And finally, last night, Rebeka came to me in tears. Ian was immediately concerned. It turns out that Zack was trash-talking her and managed to break through her rock-hard exterior, because it takes a lot to make Beka cry. Ian marched himself downstairs, full of righteous indignation, and pounded on Zack's bedroom door.
"You come upstairs right now! You are in so much trouble! You made Beka cry!"
After I dished out the guilt trips and asked Zack, "Is that how a Deacon should behave?", Ian sat on the piano bench watching Beka. I said to him, "Ian, can you think of something nice to say to Beka?" He put his head down a bit and said, "Sorry."
"Why are you sorry? You didn't hurt her feelings."
He replied, "I was mean earlier today."
I've learned a lot being Ian's mother. I can't sweat the small stuff, I have to pick my battles and look at life in a humorous way. I've developed a lot of patience, but still need to work on more. Probably one of the greatest lessons is to never give up. Because just when it seems that nothing is getting through, I see a light shining in his eyes, and I can look into his soul and see how beautiful he is.