My firstborn turned 14, you guys. Kimball Morgan Hanks came into the world August 20, 2003 and has made my life an adventure ever since. Not having a brother growing up and only having one close male cousin (poor Mitch…he played more “house” than probably any boy ever did with two sisters and three girl cousins), the idea of raising a boy was so exciting. I didn’t know he was a boy until he was born, but I probably should have the way he made my stomach bounce with his vigorous gymnastics. And he has never slowed down since!
At the beginning of his life, he made his preferences known…he wanted to be in constant motion, whether it was being walked around, bouncing in a bouncy chair, or riding in a car. The second we stopped at a red light, he would howl until we were moving again. He also loved being outside. At just a few weeks old and somewhat colic-y, all I would have to do was go outside and he would magically calm down. And trust me, nothing has changed in his fourteen years! He still lives outside, is in constant motion, and gets impatient when he can’t be on the move!
As a toddler, he loved monster trucks and his battery operated four-wheeler. One time he drove his little monster truck down a bench and over a gentlemen’s lap at Hollywood Studios without missing a beat. You should have seen the look of surprise on the man’s face! Luckily he also thought it was funny! Kimball just kept right on walking, making his little car noises, never really noticing what he ran over. And Chris had a part-time job charging the battery to his little four-wheeler. One time, I noticed Kimball going around and around in a rather tight circle, and realized he had fallen asleep!
Monster trucks eventually turned into a dinosaur phase. Oh how I tired of reading his dinosaur books and pronouncing all of those scientific prehistoric names! I learned more about the Triassic period than I ever cared to, needless to say. He also loved catching frogs, turtles, salamanders, and any other slimy little critter. Actually, he still does!
Now it’s sports, sports, sports. Which is good…it gets some of his tireless energy out. And though he is small in stature, his heart is fierce. He doesn’t back down from any challenge. He has no fear (much to my fear!), and doesn’t think twice about sacrificing his body for the sake of a ball. He is one feisty kid. Sometimes that feistiness drives me crazy when the two of us are disagreeing about something. Let’s just say he is very persistent in whatever avenue he chooses!
But he is also kind, mostly polite, and well-liked by his friends. He is the biggest cheerleader on whatever team he is ever on, always encouraging his teammates and celebrating their victories as if they were his own. He goes out of his way to offer a pat on the back, a slap on the helmet, or a high five. I hope he can always celebrate other people’s successes, for that is something hard to teach that he comes by very naturally!
At fourteen, he still tolerates this mom praying for him at night, and sometimes even makes specific requests known to me. This is also something I hope and pray will never change. It is usually my favorite time with him, when his body and mind are still for once and I have his undivided attention. It’s hard to believe this kid is mine…that he has survived all of the crazy stunts he’s tried, that I have survived all of the crazy stunts he’s tried. And it is my prayer that God continues to keep him safe and healthy, and that he will use his passionate, feisty nature for the good of God’s kingdom, in whatever capacity that may be!
Here are a few books/resources that I have found helpful while raising this son of mine:
Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas
Triggers: Exchanging Parent’s Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake
Six Ways to Raise a Godly Man by Kaylene Yoder
Five Power Packed Prayers to Pray Over Your Son by Kaylene Yoder
Thanks for allowing me to celebrate my boy and for tolerating my trip down memory lane!
Do you have a favorite parenting book? I’d love to hear what it is…I’m definitely still in training!