Monday, October 5, 2009

Everett Clifford

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He trains my hands for battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze." 2 Samuel 22:33,35. Yes, this third born is our fighter. He has surprised me with his personality and I am nowhere near figuring him out.

Everett was the easy-going, cheerful, good eating and sleeping baby that makes you want a dozen. It's a good thing he wasn't my first because he would have made us over confident in our parenting abilities! I hear parents all the time saying by the third they don't have time to cuddle and the third gets cheated of time with mom and dad. I understand that partially...I have had moments of "Oops! I forgot about Everett!" Yet at the same time I've seen how fast the baby stage goes so I have taken advantage of every cuddly-fall-asleep-on-me, wear-you-on-my-hip moment.

And those moments are fading as Everett is almost 17 months and a feisty go-getter. When I cuddle him with a cup of milk before bed he thinks it's hilarious to squeeze my nose, stick fingers in my mouth while I'm singing, or just laugh (slightly mockingly?) when I pray over him. Much like his dad, Everett has engaging blue eyes that make you feel special when he greets you with a loud "HI!" in the grocery store. He has no fear of people or animals. Darla and Hudson are terrified when he chases after strange dogs, sticks fingers in a chicken coop, or has to be drug away from a horse pasture. He isn't fazed and like many third born children, has no problem finding his own things to do.

At the same time as being charming and a bit of a free spirit, we are seeing a streak of determination in this little man! When he doesn't agree with a decision we've made he arches his back and lets out a scream that makes outsiders wonder if a trip to the ER might be in order. Being confined whether in a car seat, cart, or even on my lap, is not his thing. How I would love to carry him into church instead of having to walk across a parking lot holding 3 sets of hands...but I'm choosing battles carefully with Everett. He desperately wants to be entrusted with privileges so as much as possible I'm handing them to him. With the other two I would have thought, "that looks dangerous!" "I should take that tool/toiletbrush/sharp pencil away!" With Everett I think "It's not worth the fight...he'll figure it out." (I exaggerate...but not that much.) I believe God has made him a bit of a fighter, with a strong will and charismatic demeanor for a purpose that we will celebrate. In the meantime I'm choosing boundaries carefully and then digging my heels in so he can learn that boundaries are important (and serious business!).

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