Two weeks ago, my husband and I made a change. A big change. After a lot of prayer and careful consideration, we told our 14 year old nephew he could move in with us. He had been living in Louisiana with the rest of his family, but he needed a fresh start. Remembering my years of struggles, I told my husband, if I were in our nephew's shoes, I would want someone to open their arms and their home for me.
So we did.
What an eventful two weeks it has been! There have been great times, scary times, sad times, exciting times, fun times, and I have felt every emotion humanly possible. Our nephew is a great kid. He has an amazing personality and is extremely talented. The first day we went to pick him up from school, we couldn't see him coming out. Finally, he emerged in the middle of a swarm of middle school girls. It amazes me the way these girls just flock to him.
Over the past two weeks, I have learned so much I can't believe my brain hasn't pushed itself out of my skull. First, just when I thought I understood how bad I hurt my parents in high school with my awful attitude, I realized I only understood about 10% of what they felt. Second, living with two boys is not the same as growing up in a house full of girls. It is just so much harder to keep the house smelling nice instead of that awful 'fart, body odor, and dog doo' mixture. Third, there are reasons cliches are cliches. Who knew (besides anyone with a child) when a child is getting a spanking, it REALLY does hurt the parent more than the child.
It has only been two weeks with a 14 year old boy in the house, and I am already seeing things in a whole new light. I can't imagine what raising a child from birth would uncover. But one thing I do know is I will never in a million years be able to repay my parents for all the love, mercy and grace they gave me. I never realized just how fortunate I was to grow up in a loving, Christian home. I can only hope to take all the things my parents did and apply them in a way where one day, maybe I could be half as great to my kids (or nephew) as they were to me.