We are in the throes of training an mini-human.
Well, who are we kidding. Hunter is a full-speed, 100%, all-in boy. Currently it’s learning how to say ‘Excuse me,’ instead of repeating, ‘Mom, Mom, Mom, MOM!’ at increasing volume and frequency to be heard. This conversation happens at least 7 times a day:
Hunter: ‘Mom. Mom. MOMOMOM. Mom.’
Me: ‘Hunter, I am talking with someone else. What do you do when you want to say something?’
Me: ‘Hunter, say excuse me and then wait until I say your name and then you can talk.’
Hunter: ‘Excuse me.’ <pause>
Me: ‘Yes, Hunter! Would you like to say something?’
Today at lunch we were on campus as a family. Scott and Hunter were sitting across the table from Madison and me, and a few friends joined us. As Scott and his friend chatted, Hunter started pulling on Scott’s shirt sleeve with the ‘Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, DAD’ not too far behind. Scott lovingly ignored him while glancing at me with a look that said, ‘Let’s see if Hunter remembers what to do.’ Of course, Hunter decided to talk louder and louder until Scott turned to him and remind him what to do. A few tries later and he got it – saying excuse me and waiting until Scott was done talking to say what he wanted to say.
We continued on our conversation with friends as we all ate lunch. Scott was mid-sentence when from across the room I heard, ‘Hey Scott. Hey, Scott. Hey, hey Scott.’ Over and over. It wasn’t Hunter – he was still sitting next to Scott, finishing his lunch. After I glanced around the dining hall I realized it was one of the staff, a young kid who Scott has taken under his wing. This guy just kept repeating, ‘Hey, Scott!’ He didn’t take a moment to see if Scott was busy or in a conversation. He didn’t get up from his seat and come over next to Scott to see if he was interrupting. Eventually Scott turned around and they had their quick exchange, and in that moment it was like the universe zoomed in on me and time sped forwards about 20 years.
We are in the throes of training a mini human…so one day that exact thing will not happen. Hunter will understand how to be polite, think of others, sense a situation before barging in with his own needs and wants. Will he mess up and be selfish? Of course. Daily, I’m sure. But the foundation of preferring others and valuing people will be there. My prayer is he will choose to build on that foundation with values and virtues and actions and decisions that shine of Biblical truth.
Until then, we have fragmented conversations and pray for extra patience.