We really love the missionaries we have serving here in Arizona, but sometimes being around them makes me miss my son who is serving a mission in Texas. I wiped continuous tears during a baptism on Saturday just thinking of my son doing the same work.
I write him every week and we share our deepest thoughts about families, God, Christ, missionary work, trials in life, etc., but they aren’t funny things that show up here like the hilarious things my younger kids often say. I am really missing him tonight for some reason and since I can’t pick up the phone and call him, I will blog about him instead.
I need to share more of my older kids on this blog since I realized after Nicole made a beautiful scrapbook for me of my blog for a Christmas gift that it consists 99% of my younger kids.
Tonight’s entry is dedicated to Taylor. He’s a kid who nearly drove me crazy as a young boy.
Refused to stay in time out, was stubborn as the day is long, and once when I put him in his room for a timeout the kids said, “Mom, Taylor is watching TV!” No, that would be impossible since he was in his bedroom…or so I thought. Silly me for thinking he would have stayed put. Instead, the dear little one had removed his screen from his window, crawled out the window and come around the back yard to watch TV through our sliding glass door in the family room.
With the girls when they were young, all I had to do was threaten to remove a privilege or a favorite toy, and they were quick to obey. With Taylor, however, I could say, “Clean your bedroom or you won’t be able to go to: _____. Insert anything here that one would think would inspire him to get busy; soccer game, baseball game, Cub Scouts, it didn’t matter. His all too often reply? “I don’t care, I didn’t want to go anyway.” It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go to Cub Scouts or soccer. He did, and he loved them both, but he wasn’t going to show it, and he would dig in his heels and miss both activities. Cut off your nose to spite your face? The phrase, I am convinced, was invented just for him. His early years on more than one occasion made me mutter under my breath, “I hope you have a child just like you someday!”
He tends to be pretty ADHD, but has thankfully been able to make it through life without meds. One of his middle school teachers told him one time when he wouldn’t shut up, “Taylor, you are like a fart in a skillet!” I didn’t know whether to be offended for her talking to my son that way, or agree with her.
In spite of our challenges, however, Taylor has always had a sweet and sensitive spirit.
He loved it as a young boy when we would sit and sing songs together, and after one night of singing as a family in harmony by the light of the fire in the fireplace, he said that he loved the way that felt and wanted to do it again. If he watched a touching movie, he was always the first to be wiping away tears,
and he always looked out for and was kind to the underdog.
His sensitivity has carried him far in life as he has grown and also brought him a wealth of friends. He was voted class speaker at both his junior high and high school graduations, and if you mention his name to almost anyone from his high school, they will say, “Taylor? Yeah, I knew him. He’s a good kid!”
He has wanted to serve a mission for as long as I can remember, and from the time he was about 15, he didn’t think he could wait four more years to be old enough to go. He really wanted to serve a foreign mission, but when he was called to Texas, within an hour or so of opening his mission call, he said, “It feels right…it feels like a well fitting suit”, and knew that it was the Lord’s will that he serve the people in Texas. From the experiences he has had, it has been confirmed to us over the past year that Texas was exactly the place that the Lord needed him to be.
He’s a wonderful missionary now, who has dedicated his life for the past year to serving his Heavenly Father. He has 11 more months to go and wishes that he had much longer because he loves missionary work and loves the people with whom he is working. Y’all has become a permanent part of his vocabulary.
When I see how much he has grown and matured over the past year and how much he loves the Lord and the people he is serving, all the past challenges when he was a young child fade away and I am blessed with the reward of seeing what an incredible young man he has become. Once again the words come to mind but this time in a positive light, “I hope you have a child just like you someday.”