When three-year-old David was especially pleased with me due to some exciting homeschool project, favorite meal, or a fun time, he would pat me fondly on the leg and say,
“Mom, you're a good woman.”
One day he tacked on a new phrase that made me pause and think;
“Mom, you're a good woman, and I'm your brother.”
My first and most natural response was to correct him with the words, “No, you are my son.” But as I opened my mouth to speak, a million years raced by my mind's eye and I saw us, David and I, in another age, ancient in years, living and moving in the presence of God as immortal beings. A million years from now when he is a man with vast experience and knowledge of things past and present, when I am a woman, a scarce 27 years older, will I be his “mother” then?
It was then I realized I am raising a brother. In these first years when he is the child and I am the teacher, we seem unequal. He is grateful for my teaching and I love his child-like dependence upon me.
However, to seek to keep him in such a state of undevelopment would be to deny the future ahead of us. To fail to equip my son to be my brother would be a grave injustice and a case of extreme short-sightedness. He must become all that he was created to be.
Almost 10 years later David asks me, “How are you today, Mom? What do you need me to do?” If I look tired he notices and tells me to sit down a while. When Daddio and I are talking about our day's thoughts and interests, David leaves his siblings to come and join in the conversation and listen to us. Sometimes I look over at him and am shocked to see a young-adult where only a few years ago sat my little over-talkative toddler. I see my son becoming my brother and I'm glad he feels the freedom to grow and become as quickly as he can.
“I'm designing my house,” he told me the other day, looking up from the engineering graph paper he had learned to use. Each square represented two feet in his plan and he had laid out a pretty huge house.
“What's this?” I asked, pointing to a sheet that depicted a large circular room.
“That's the top floor. It's a room for you and Daddio. It has a huge table so you can have us all come up there and eat with you. And a hot tub. Just in case you want to live with me. Or come visit.”
“That's what I'm talking about!” Daddio commented appreciatively over my shoulder. “A hot tub! Where's the sauna?”
“There's no sauna, but here's the pool. We'll bring your grandkids over and we can talk while they all swim. Then, by the time they are grown, I plan to have a castle built that can hold everyone. Although I guess some of them will probably move away and build their own houses. But if I have a castle then everyone can still get together whenever they want to.”