Sometimes I look at Hunter and wonder when did he get so big? He speaks so clearly and has such deep thoughts and an incredible memory and attention to the most minute detail. But then other times I look over at him and I am struck by his smallness, his little boy-ness. He is just a little guy. He speaks with such an endearing (and sometimes embarrassing) call-it-like-you-see-it innocence. You know the kind where he gives a play by play in the public bathroom of what he sees and hears in the stall next to him. He speaks with such brutal honesty but is in that preschool age of zero tact. He speaks in absolute truths. That's the only way his little brain works.
A few days ago we found out that he has been having nightmares. He didn't tell us in those words but he did tell us with GREAT details what had happened to him during the night. I had left early that morning, before anyone was due to be awake, to go workout. I returned home around 9:30am to find a house that was totally silent. I realized everyone was STILL ASLEEP. It had me worried for a second because our kids are like clockwork and wake within 15-20 minutes of the same time every single morning. So for BOTH of them to be fast asleep at 9;30am was strange. Jordan came in to the kitchen and I asked him what he thought we should do. We both agreed to wake them up. So around 10am we went in to get them. Jordan got Maddie and I got Hunter. I walked into Hunter's room and pulled back the covers (he was totally underneath the covers) and found him sweating and shaking. He had this awful terrified look on his face and then a huge cry of relief came over him when he saw that it was me. My first thought was he was really sick. I couldn't get him to calm down. We took him downstairs and I took his temperature....Normal. I started asking questions and he just wanted to be held. So I held and scratched him and he finally started talking. He told stories of Madison jumping on rainbows and of lions and tigers biting his arms and chasing him. It was then that Jordan and I realized we were dealing with our first nightmare. I was kind of surprised that his nightmare resulted in him sleeping an extra 3 hours. I was always under the impression that nightmares woke kids up early.
The next morning the same thing was repeated. We went in to wake him up at 10am and found him terrified in bed and covered in sweat. He told more stories of lions and tigers and this time dragons. We began to notice some hesitation and fear when it came time for bed at night. He would ask questions as though he was trying so hard to be brave but we could see the fear in his eyes about what he might dream about when he went to sleep. He would ask in part-breathless, quivering manner, as if he was fighting back tears, if "the lions and tigers were gonna come in his room". We reassured him that daddy was gonna protect him and that there were no lions and tigers. He sleeps with several cars in his bed and most recently a military tank. We showed him how his tank had a gun on it that he could use to protect himself if he saw anything. The next morning he woke up at his normal time and when I went to get him I asked how he slept and he said there were lions and tigers but they went into the woods because he shot them with the tank. BRILLIANT.
He is such a smart little boy. His attention to detail amazes me. When he speaks it is with a kind of wonder like everything he sees is absolutely amazing. He has a very black and white way of looking at life. Something is either fun (park) or it's not (going to bed). He either likes food (corn) or he hates it (beans). Life is either fun or it isn't. His favorite toys right now are cars. They each have names and he always knows if one is missing where it is.
He is a rough a tumble kid. He loves to rough house. He enjoys bugs and dirt and chasing animals such as dogs and armadillos. But he is deathly afraid of owls. TERRIFIED.
He also has a new fear of being put under water. It was kind of a shock to see it happen so suddenly after 3 years of happily playing in the bathtub and pool. Jordan has been AMAZING with him. He is such an incredible father there really are no words. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how amazingly patient he is and how he is so tender with our kids. He has worked with Hunter every single day in the pool to allow him to regain the confidence he once had. When I say terrified I am NOT exaggerating. We were the "freak show" at swimming lessons a few weeks ago even trying to get him to sit on the step in the water. After a few weeks with daddy, Hunter is back to going under on his own will and will jump in the pool to "tackle daddy" and then swim from daddy back to the wall. He wants to be in the pool 24/7 now and while he is still very cautious the difference is like night and day.
Speaking of being an awesome dad. One of my favorite things is the bond those 2 have. Every night after Maddie goes to bed Hunter and daddy have their special time for about an hour. They go outside and swim or go fishing or do whatever "fun stuff" Hunter wants to do. Since Hunter was born Jordan has always been the one to do the bedtime routine with him. He has always bathed him and tucked him in and lately he's been reading bible stories to him. Hunter loves the story of Adam and Eve and usually requests him to read that one over and over again. From the time Hunter was born Jordan has always said the Lord's prayer out loud to him before tucking him in bed. About a year ago Hunter started repeating it back along with him and a few weeks ago he said "I can do it daddy" and he recited it flawlessly from start to finish. THERE IS NO GREATER JOY.
Hunter has some pretty sweet moments. There is not much better in this world then to hear him say "momma can we go snuggle on your bed?" umm YES!! and hold on a second while I savor this sweet moment in time! It is so strange some days to look over at Hunter and catch a glimpse of the future, of the kind of boy he will be. Sometimes he just acts so old I find myself wondering where the time went.
Sometimes he finds himself in trouble. It's usually something involving not playing nice with his sister. More often than not when I call him over to talk to him about it he will walk over with his head down in shame and come put his arms around me and when I ask what he did he will say "I have to get a spanking" and I will say why? and he will say "cause I kicked Maddie" or "cause I didn't share toys with Maddie" as he looks down at the floor. Sometimes it is so hard to keep a straight face and look past his absolute innocence, honesty and cuteness and remain serious about discipline.
He is such a good little helper. He loves his sister to death but every morning he asks me if it's Maddie's nap time yet. He knows that when Maddie naps it's our special time together. He helps me get things done whether its, dishes, laundry, making the beds or just general clean up he is my sidekick. Don't get me wrong, he LOVES Maddie and is always eager for her to hurry up and wake up so he can go get her but he loves our time together too.
He is such a words of affirmation kid. He soaks up a compliment with the sweetest most innocent look of pride on his face. He will close his eyes and smile and nod and say "uh huh" when I tell him good things. He is so proud it makes it so worth it to see his reaction.
It is absolutely impossible to describe the love that we have for these two kiddos. Our lives have been so blessed. They bring so much joy and laughter to our days. Raising these two kids together has brought us closer to each other and closer to God as we share and marvel in the moments that are so normal yet so amazing.