When days are rotten to the core in circumstance, and life never seems to stop throwing you heavy hitters, you need an understanding heart to listen, someone to help you pick up the pieces and remind you that it is going to be okay. For me this week, the source of that pretty remarkable love came from my oldest son, Maurice, Jr. He is quite shy when you try to praise him, dips his head low, glances at the ground. He might even nervously fumble for something to do with his hands, all while trying to somehow take it in. So when I thought of him tonight and my desperately challenging day, I knew this was one of the only ways I could really convey to him just how much his selflessness touched my heart. May the power of the “pen” allow this remarkable young man to know how truly loved and cherished he is.
Maurice is 17 years old and will be a senior in the fall. He has a 4.2 GPA with electives of Muscle, Choir, Comedy Sports, and Theater. He is a remarkable singer, quite a good song writer, aspiring actor and a wannabe dancer. J He works so hard during the school year that at times I have to tell him to take breaks, eat and sleep. He deeply loves God, has a warm and tender heart, is friendly, outgoing, charming and has a wonderfully infectious smile that will remind you time and time again of how handsome he is without trying. Honestly, if that weren’t enough, allow me to share with you how this beautiful soul makes my life a MUCH better one with his selfless love.
As a first-born child, Maurice has always been a leader. So it is not unnatural for him to gather, delegate and get a group inspired to take on a task. Our family dynamic is no exception. But remember he is a teenager too. He has friends, personal goals, and wants to do his own thing. I understand and fully support him in these things. What continues to amaze me is his ability to have a family perspective in it all. If this young man sees me in need or hears that I am hurting, something in him takes over and he not only accomplishes the task, but does it with all his heart so much so that it literally brings tears to my eyes. It seems almost as if he does it as a dedication to me, and I feel speechless because it’s impact is so great! If you don’t mind, I will share with you a few ways he takes the edge off of my absolute worst days.
This past Monday, I pretty much had one of the worst days I can remember in a long time. In less then 12 hours I managed to pack in 1) a teething toddler’s night waking that went on for two hours, 2) have a day that started at 3:30am because of a chain reaction of events that started with a glass of water for my daughter and ended with all three wee ones awake 3) endure a four hour wait in the department of social services lobby, 4) miss several meals, suffering mild dehydration as a result of that unexpected wait 5) brave a three block walk in 93 degree weather past some shady guys throwing rocks in my direction, 6) get a $63.00 parking ticket, and 7) face a rushed trip home, a rushed trip to the gas station, rushed trip to my other son’s practice and a period of exhaustion so great I almost fell asleep at the wheel. As you can imagine I was tense and on the verge of falling apart each time a new set of things were thrown my way.
Maurice Jr. overheard the children in the middle of the night and woke in the morning with his sincere apology for my obvious lack of sleep. We had planned out our day and I ignorantly thought my filled out application would only need dropping off at the DSS but I was desperately wrong. I called home often to check in on Maurice Jr. to give him updates and make sure everything was okay. He calmly would reply, “Mom, everything here is fine. Don’t worry.” He had fed the kids lunch and put the baby down for a nap. As my wait continued, I would call home and my resolve was weakening. I wanted to be fine, but I could not stop the tears from cascading down my cheeks right there in the lobby with at least 75 other people. I could feel it, I was starting to fall apart as quickly s my day was. My son’s tenderhearted answer was to tell me he was praying for me and not to worry as he had everything under control. Even then I just wanted to hug him, but I was so far away. Once I got home, I was so late that I had to make arrangements for his grandfather to come and take him to school so he could register for classes in the fall. He called me later on with his dad, Maurice Sr. asking what I wanted for dinner. When they came home, they fed me, sent me off to bed, and because our other son Micah needed to be picked up from practice, Maurice Jr. single handedly put all three kids to bed while I slept! That’s cleaned, diapered, dressed, teeth brushed… the whole nine all on his own accord! And what is the best part? He did it with such JOY! When I finally stirred, the house was quiet. I found my son Maurice in the kitchen. I asked him what happened and he updated me on the night’s events. Tears started to fill my eyes as he spoke. He just knew I needed him and he was there without me even having to ask him. When I started to thank him and tell him how I could have never gotten through today without him he says to me “It makes me happy to do it Mom.” Yep, crying even now as I write this. That is his heart. No extras. No frills. He is a VERY special young man that I am super blessed to have the honor of co-parenting as his step mom. One day he is is going to make some very lucky woman deeply happy… but for right now I guess I will have to do. :)