three and a half forever…
so recently, my sweet hubby and i got a phone call that we had hoped to get for a while. that’s right, ladies and gentlemen, a video we submitted months ago had been picked to be on america’s funniest home videos. 🙂 we are big fans of the show (not always of the people in the video clips, of course). my man especially has watched it from way back in the bob saget beginning days of the 1990’s. it is often hilarious and silly and fun. and over the years, there are a few life lessons we have gleaned from the show, just so you know…
1. standing on top of a table is almost never, ever a good idea
2. trampolines absolutely do have a weight limit and a certain lifespan for safety
3. boys brains leave their bodies from about age 12 through age 18 (and sometimes significantly longer)
4. holding a newborn baby above your head after they’ve eaten is not wise – ever!
5. a pinata must be clear of people in a 32 foot radius in every direction to ensure absolute safety
6. at a wedding you can expect one of the following to happen: a unity candle catching someone on fire, a groomsman passing out, a flower girl tantrum, something awkward being pulled out from under the bride’s dress instead of the garter, or a silly mess of cake all over a dress she spent months picking out and paid more for than any other item of clothing her entire life
and last but not least…
7. clearly no one from CPS has ever, ever watched the show…ever, or the whole thing would have been shut down decades ago
anyway…we got picked and a video of our sweet son was going to be on the show. we didn’t get picked as a finalist, but still, we were excited. and the video of our then two-year-old jacob being blown in the face with a leaf blower was absolutely hilarious. and no, i am not biased. 🙂 it really was. and yes, CPS did not need to be called, the kid loved it! 🙂 anyway, since we didn’t “win”, it got us thinking about the other clip we always said we’d send in someday. and me, with all this “spare time” on my hands decided to search the external hard drive on our computer for it. it didn’t take long to find because i remembered the exact date the video was taken. how could i remember that, you ask? that’s easy….
the video was taken on our eldest son, jacob’s fourth birthday. ryan and i video each child as we wake them up, singing happy birthday each year. we have done that each year for each kiddo, and this year was no different…or so we thought. as it turned out, it was quite different. so, we go in and start singing to him “happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” and all of a sudden, from the darkness of our adorable, precious first-born we hear, “NO! NO!” at first, ryan and i thought jacob was dreaming or not quite fully awake. he is, shall we say, a bit more like his daddy in the fact that he needs a bit more time before he prefers to be “cheerful” most mornings. (finally, a less desirable quality that our kids didn’t get from me!!:) anyway…we kept singing and sure enough jacob started crying and saying “NOOOOO!!!” we stopped and asked him what was going on, to which his sweet little voice replied “i don’t want to be four years old!”
what!?! we were shocked! the kiddo had already had his birthday party at the bounce house, which was (thankfully) a huge hit..which is more than i could say for his third birthday disaster at chuck-e-cheese…don’t even get me started about how terrified the kid was of chuck-e and how he had his eyes closed the ENTIRE time, yes, even opening presents and blowing out his candles! ugh. we could probably send that video in, too, in fact!
anyway…so we were shocked, he had been so excited about being four, at his party, all the build up to the big day and everything and now this!?! so we asked him…”why buddy, why don’t you want to be four years old?” and the conversation went a bit like this….
j: “cause i don’t want to have a lost tooth.”
us: “well buddy that doesn’t happen until you are at least five.”
(but for the record, in his logical brain, four was one step closer to five, so that was bad enough! not sure where the kid learned to worry like this!??!ugh)
j:”well i don’t want to be four either!” (tears)
us:” well, buddy what do you want us to do?”
j:” change me back into three!”
us:” we can’t buddy! you are four today.”
j:”well then, get a magic wand.”
us:” magic wands aren’t real jacob, that is just on tv.”
j:” but i don’t want to be a grown up. i don’t want to grow and grow!” (more tears)
us:” you aren’t a grown up buddy, you are only four years old! you won’t be a grown up for a long time!”
j:” well i just want to be three and a half forever!!” (lots more tears)
oh friend…it was absolutely pitiful. funny sort of, because he was just precious with his little speech impediment that he couldn’t quite say his “r’s” and his sweet, innocent round face. but really it was just sad. i left out a LOT of the story. we tried to remind him about how God made his body to get bigger and stronger each year and how silly it would be is mommy and daddy were still three and a half. and how his best buddy was four and how exciting it is to be four…we even tried to appeal to his naturally greedy child self and talk about all the four year old presents he’d have to give back if he wasn’t four, but he didn’t care. he pouted and cried and insisted that he wanted to be three and a half forever.
sounds so silly, doesn’t it? so childish. but as i watched the video again and again, it hit me so square in the face….ooohhh, we do that, don’t we??
we pout. we cry. we kick and we scream at God about things that we simply cannot change.
maybe you don’t. but i sure do.
but i don’t wanna be sick, God. (tears)
i don’t wanna spend one more stinkin’ day on this couch. (more tears)
why can’t i just be healed already!?!?!
why in the world didn’t you heal me in time to go to that women’s conference? it’s a women’s conference, God where i get to learn all about you?!? why would you not want me to go to that???
i’m tired of having bills pile up. why do i have to have all this stress in my marriage? why can’t my husband treat me like “so-and-so’s” husband does? these extra 35 pounds are awful. i am sick, do i have to feel fat and ugly too, seriously!?! what is the deal with these doctors, why can’t they just figure this out? i don’t want to be sick, God! i want to be happy and healthy forever! change me back into “me” again!!
again, maybe you don’t do this. maybe you don’t whine about how much your husband does or does not make. maybe you don’t complain about how someone else has characteristics that you just don’t possess. maybe you don’t pitch a fit about your life at all. good for you! unfortunately, i can’t say the same.
the fact is this, friend. ryan and i love jacob so much. we love each of our children, obviously. but jacob is our firstborn and there is something special about that. of course, there is something super special about our adorable middle child and our precious baby too. but, the point is that we love him so much. we would do anything him. but, on august 31st, of 2008 there wasn’t anything we could do for him, he was four years old and that was that. we listened to his concerns and his feelings. we validated them. we comforted him. but in the end, we had to tell him that he was in fact, four and the best thing he could do was try to have a happy heart about it.
i’ve heard it said that “you can get happy in the same panties you got mad in.”
life is tough, friend. there is a lot that is going to happen to us that we are not going to like. i have seen that a lot lately. in fact, today marks the day i was supposed to be taking a wonderful road trip with a lifelong best friend to new mexico to spend the weekend with an another amazing college best friend at the women’s conference that SO many people have been praying for me to be healed enough to go to. we had the faith, that is for sure. but, i am not healed. i am not there. you wanna know where i am?? on. my. stinkin. couch. shocking isn’t it? ok, not so much. and you know what? i do not know why. i may never know why. you know what else?? the mayo clinic denied my case. can you even believe that? i have applied for a re-review, but still…denied!?! really God? ugh.
i have said it before, friend. Jesus actually promises from His very own mouth that this world will bring us trouble (john 16:33) but He also promises that He has overcome this world. don’t know about you, but i am so thankful for the second half of that verse.
ask yourself how much time you spend wishing you were three and a half forever. what is it in your life that you just can’t seem to get over? you just can’t seem to be happy about? can you change it? then can i just look into this screen with a humble heart and tears in my eyes because i know how hard it can be sometimes and say, with LOVE….maybe you should just try to get over it? can you get happy in the same panties you got mad in? i encourage you to. life is too short, friend.
God is God. he doesn’t need your help figuring all this out. and He really doesn’t need my help. trust me, i’ve offered it up plenty of times. He consistently and politely refuses.
i’ve heard it said that “He wants for you what you would want for you if you knew what He knows.”
trust in that. rest in that. embrace everything He allows into your life as best you can. i know it is hard. trust me, i know. but, He will help you. Psalm 28:7 says “the Lord is my strength and shield, my heart trusts in Him and i am helped.” see…He’ll help you. 🙂
Psalm 29:11 says “the Lord gives strength to His people. the Lord blesses His people with peace.” what a blessing it is to know that! i can live without a lot, but peace, I NEED!!
in fact, matthew 6:8 says “do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” sigh. nice to know. 🙂
now, go blow out those four candles and have a happy birthday! 🙂