On first impression, many would say my oldest is headstrong, stubborn, and half of the time, plain defiant. He is “all boy” all of the time. He’d rather be covered in dirt than wearing a nice shirt, and he’d chase a tree frog straight up the tallest tree it could find if I’d let him. He is rough and tumble with a country-mile-wide rebel side. He is my wild child.
Being the mama to a wild one isn’t easy.
It’s defending your parenting at every turn because there’s obviously something you’re just not doing right. It’s standing your ground in front of them and crying when you go to bed later. It’s days you think you haven’t had a single decent conversation with them.
They push, you pull.
They run when you need them to walk.
They stand in place when you’re begging them to just take one more step.
Some days, it seems like they fight you at every turn just to see how much of it you can take.
Every day isn’t all bad, though.
Being the mama to a wild child is knowing what it’s like to be on the very edge of breaking and watching the defiance in his eyes turn to acceptance. It’s knowing that beneath all of the rough, tough exterior there’s a soft little human in there who loves you more than he can bear. It’s holding him close when he covers your face with kisses and hearing him laugh after a tickle fight. It’s bedtime stories snuggled close after a long day. It’s a little body sneaking into your bed because he just needed to be close to you.
The wild ones, they’re trying. They’re trying to navigate this life where they feel like they know best, but they trust you infinitely. They’re testing the waters. They’re pushing all of the limits.
They aren’t doing it to exhaust you, the fire in their hearts just burns a little brighter than the rest of ours.
The wild ones are the fighters. One day when they’re older we will call them ambitious, determined, or progressive. For now, we will muddle through. We will do the best that we can in the trying times with the faith that they will be just fine, and we will be even better for having raised them.
My wild child may bring me to my knees, but that’s just how Jesus wants me.
Tomorrow may be a day that seems to last a year, but I will be forever thankful to be the mama of a wild child.