When we brought Tucker home from the hospital, I rocked him to sleep. He was so fragile and tiny and perfect. In the middle of the night, I would rock him. As the sun dipped under the horizon on summer nights, I would cuddle him close, and we would rock.

It was during these precious times with him that I would pray. Often, I would close my eyes (tired myself), and my toes would gently push off of the floor. Back and forth we would go, his head tucked into my arm. And then, I would speak to Jesus. It was some kind of quiet benediction.

At the end of our long days, I still lay awake and offer up my burdens and thoughts. I still chant a prayer for my little boy.

I pray that he will walk with compassion. I pray that he will know how to stop, to recognize himself in other people, and to wrap his arms around the hurt, broken, and lost. I pray that he will know how to actively love unconditionally.

I pray that he is empathetic. I pray that he tries desperately to understand other perspectives. I pray that he always looks for the good in others.

I pray that he speaks the truth—even if it makes him sweat, even if it’s messy, and even if it’s terrifying. I pray he speaks his truth. In doing so, I pray that he compels others to speak their own loud, trying heart murmurs.

I know that he won’t always do the right thing. I pray that he understands how to apologize unflinchingly and quickly. I pray that he is sincere, and that, in his error, he learns. I pray that, in his mistakes, he finds light.

I pray that he knows God, and that he finds comfort and strength in scripture.

I pray that my sweet boy honors the space women around him take up with their intelligence and bodies.

As his little arms clutch around stuffed animals, drum sticks, tiny figurines, or even his toothbrush, I hum the song I made up for only him. I imagine the man he will become.

Brave and strong.
Vulnerable and giving.
Kind.

Fervently, I talk to God. Whispers from a momma heart, straight to the One in charge.

Whispers not for the best athlete on the team, or the smartest kid in the class.

No.

Whispers asking for a kid who holds the hands of the scared.
Whispers asking for a kid who sits by the lonely.
Whispers asking for a kid who stands up for the ones without the words.
Whispers asking for a kid who’s a pillar in a storm.

Mostly though, I pray that time will slow down for just a minute. Turning a sweet little boy who still gets excited about school in the morning, who still innocently believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny, and who still laughs a hundred times a day— turning a sweet little boy into a man . . . 

It’s just the biggest gift I’ve ever been given.

This article originally appeared on Rebecca Cooper, Author

 

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Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper-Thumann is an English teacher in a sleepy town in the midwest. She has published four novels and is currently working on a fifth. She has a precocious four-year-old son, she loves nachos and Jesus, and she tries to live her life every day rooted in courage and joy.