There’s a boy in my life.
He’s super sweet, and way cute, and loves me lots… and he’s three years old.
My friend’s son, Valor, is amazing. First of all, he’s a genius. He has a vocabulary that rivals kids triple his age. For instance, he can name and identify not just the typical fruits and veggies, but also avocado and kumquat! Secondly, he’s in love with life! He sets up elaborate, imaginative situations all over the house. The current favorite is “car party” where all his Hot Wheels are invited to have a drive in and eat at the buffet. Thirdly, even though we live states apart, he remembers me and always wants to chat with me.
The last time I saw Valor in person was in April of last year — that’s right, almost a year ago! But I get random texts from Abby, his mom, saying, “Valor was talking to you this morning on his play phone and invited you to the party.” Or, “Valor drew this stick figure of you. You’re very tall and green.”
It warms my heart when I get messages like that! I have enjoyed putting together birthday and Christmas boxes for this family and filling them with toys for the kids. Anytime I see something fun, I pick it up and save it for the next big occasion. Cars, play food, and even a monkey puppet have made the long journey from Florida to North Carolina over the past few years since his family moved.
I talked to Valor yesterday via Skype. Here’s how our conversation went:
Kelly: Hey Valor! How was your nap?
Valor: (excitedly!) Hi Miss Kelly! Wanna see my car party right now? (Takes iPad to party central)
Kelly: Sure! Oh wow… that’s a big party!
Valor: There’s Lightning McQueen and Snot Rocket and (…lots of other cars I didn’t catch the names of…) and they’re all here for the party!
Kelly: Wow! That looks like fun. Valor, I’m so excited that you wanted to talk to me! We haven’t seen each other for a long time and it makes my heart happy that you remember me!
Valor: Oh yeah, Miss Kelly, you got me that monkey puppet… (reflectively & appreciatively) Man, I just love that thing.
I love that even though I don’t have my own children that I get to see my friends’ kids and be a part of their families in some way. I learned in college that mothering could look very different depending on your stage and station in life. I “mother” the college girls I meet with and disciple. I “mother” some of my patients, thought their age supersedes my own. I “mother” Valor because I get to see him grow, learn, and play. I get to be a part of his life even though he’s not my own child and I don’t even live in the same state. I get to enjoy his funny antics and zeal for life. His excitement makes my ovaries twitch with joy! Man, I just love that kid!
And that monkey puppet…It might just be the best $5 I’ve ever spent!