However, it's also an update for all those parents who, like me, had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad SERIES of days. This entry is proof that all those Alexander-esque days are but embers of ash from which things like THIS arise:
He catches himself a few times, but he presses on. I apologize that the camera starts to shake, but I was crying as he made his way further into the story. He tried to stop when he saw me get the camera, but I pressed him on and he WENT!
And as I watched him, threads of emotion crocheted together and spilled out of my heart like a colorful scarf that invisibly crept around his smile to pulled it jealously into my memory.
This boy that has been labelled defiant... hyperactive... aggressive... impossible to teach. He's been labelled a nuisance... a frustration... a "THAT boy."
Seeing him claim victory over this story made me want smack those people in the face with this video. Repeatedly.
And then if this video wasn't enough to make a mother's heart explode, he goes and tops it with by bringing my soul the closest it's ever been to seeing Heaven.
You see, Vince decided to raise money for the American Heart Association for Lent. He did it with his school, and he was PSYCHED. On the first night we got the paperwork, I sat him down and explained everything. He surprised me by asking empathic questions about children with heart defects and their parents who obviously struggle seeing their children in pain. It moved me to witness his heart grow to encompass the mission of the charity.
So together, we made his special homepage. We chose pictures and a message and then posted it to Facebook. Within a few hours, he'd beaten his first goal of $250. Within a day, he busted through his $500 goal. Finally, by the end of the campaign, he'd helped raise $1,125.
I'd post little videos / messages from Vince and it got folks really excited to see him so excited! As a special "Thank You" to donors, we put together "Hero Hearts" out of foam, stamps and stickers. It was a very tangible way for him to see his excitement reach out to infect others.
Vince and I go apple picking every fall. Ever since he was able to toddle around and snatch apples that had fallen to the ground, he's looked forward to the hayride and hunt for the perfect apple. I explained that his heart was a lot like an apple tree. It has a million love-apples on it, and every time he shares a love-apple with someone, a new love-apple grows. He never runs out of love-apples. Instead, he keeps growing new ones so he can share more and more with everyone else. That's what these "Hero Hearts" represented (at least that's what I was hoping they represented to him).
But the best part came when he found out about the total tally. When he first heard the total, he let out a very tepid "Yay." However, he quickly asks a question that made me realize that even though I'm a miserable failure in a million different ways, God has picked up for me in the parenting department, because my son's heart is golden:
So to those parents who have felt the struggle, know that it is but the ash from which your child - a glorious, divinely created person- will burst forth as a phoenix.
<3 <3 <3