I love being a mother. I love having three boys. I love that our eldest son gave us our first “daughter”. It’s the best of all worlds really – only to be trumped by having a grand baby one day. As a mother, I think my kids are perfect just the way they are, even though the world may see imperfections. My boys even see that they have imperfections.
And these “imperfections” can hurt beyond what the eye can see.
Just after Christmas, our youngest son, Eli, had a pretty emotional conversation with us (I asked his permission to share this) regarding an “imperfection” he’s dealing with.
Eli is hands down the sweetest kid I’ve had the pleasure of knowing…and he loves his Mama (and his daddy) which warms me to the core. Eli has my dad’s sense of humor, too, and every day gives me material for Facebook status updates (he gets most of my “likes”). Eli is also built just like my dad – broad shoulders, barrel chest, solid as a rock.
At 13, Eli is 5′ 5″ and is right at that “he’s getting ready to shoot up” stage. But, not having “shot up” yet, he’s dealing with being overweight for his height. Realizing for some time that he should probably lose some weight, as parents, it’s very hard to broach that subject, afraid that we could be hurting his feelings or making him feel like we’re calling him “fat”. At 13, we want him to be healthy, but we do not want him to be in bondage to a certain number on a scale.
That’s why our conversation with Eli was emotional – yet beneficial. Realizing it was time to confront the issue, I prayed for wisdom. And I felt like The Lord embraced Eli, his dad, and me as we talked about how He wanted us to care for ourselves.
My husband, Steve, had just experienced success with the “My Fitness Pal” app, losing 30 pounds himself. It’s a plan where all food is logged in and the key is watching calorie and sugar intake. Steve talked to Eli about it and then set up an account for Eli, showing him how to log everything in. We found the calorie count that was suitable for his age, size, and weight and on December 30th, Eli’s “fitness plan” began.
That was four days ago and WOW! Am I impressed with him! He has logged every morsel that has entered his body, very thoughtfully considering every food choice. He drinks water in place of soft drinks. He snacks on turkey instead of Cheetos. He measures his cereal and covers it with Almond milk instead of opting for the usual Jethro bowl filled to the brim and covered with 2% Milk.
Cherry on top? Last night, his dad popped a bottle of sparkling cider to share with Caleb, Eli, and me (because we slept through the New Year’s Eve ball drop when we were supposed to pop it open). He handed about a 4 oz. glass to Eli who promptly says, “How many sugars does this have in it, because I only have 17 left for the day.”
Steve – “31 sugars per serving.”
Eli – “Pshh! I’m not drinking that! Here. Give mine to Caleb.”
I saw no defeat, no disappointment, just determination.
Me – “Buddy, you have about 4 oz. which means, for you, only about 15 sugars.”
Eli – “Well, as long as I’m not going over on my sugars…” And he happily sipped his cider.
Am I parading my son via this blog to embarrass him or to call attention to an “imperfection”? NO WAY. My point in sharing this is to show just how The Lord cares about every single aspect of our lives. And it’s amazing to see how, just four days later, he is so proud of his success.
This morning, he came running into the living room, fresh out of the shower, hair askew and only in his boxers and announces that he has lost 5 lbs.! Yes, I’m one proud Mama BECAUSE of Eli’s dedication and care for what God wants him to be. But not nearly as proud as our Eli.
When asking Eli if he minded if I shared this story, he shrugged and said, “Sure, but why? Do you really think anyone will want to read about it?” I’d say yes.