the bridge of light

This last week, it seems that Liam has officially crossed the bridge taking him from the ephemeral days of baby-dom into destined boyhood. We’ve seen glimpses of this new world with potty-training, riding a bike, learning to read, increased preoccupation with anatomy, etc.. But now this: the other morning Liam entered our bedroom, walked to Mark’s side of the bed, and handed Bear to Mark. 

Mark: What’s this? 

Liam: I’m a big boy now. So, I think it’s time to stop sleeping with Bear.

Mark: Oh?

Liam: I think that we should put him away in a box. That way, when I’m older I can look at him and remember all the good time we had together. 

(I’m lying in my bed, half awake, trying to fight back tears partly due to my son’s courage and manlike disposition and partly to my sadness/grief, realizing that in my parting with Bear, I am somehow simultaneously parting with the baby days of my first born.)

So, to help my brave son remember the good days he had with Bear . . .

Liam, you have loved Bear since the moment you pulled him out of the bag at 15 months. You have slept with him ever since, rubbing his tag on your upper lip while you sucked your thumb. We’ve replaced that tag twice. Apparently, Bear didn’t realize the tag would be such a vital part of his existence. He has comforted you, snuggled you, calmed you, and encouraged you every time that you were in need (and at least every nap-time and bedtime for the past 3 1/2 years). And I could sense even in all of your bravery in these actions that you were sad to put him away. You love that Bear, and he’s been a good friend to you. Here’s two pictures I found (you were 2 and 3) with Bear.

A few days later, Liam decided he wanted to “ask Jesus into his heart.” He’s been talking about it for weeks up to the actual event, fascinated by the fact that God speaks to us, and yet, concerned that he couldn’t hear Him — no matter how hard he tried to listen. So, the other day Liam went for a walk with Mark –talking through all the details — and then they prayed together. We all celebrated — and even got a cake. (It’s a different sort of birthday, we figured.) So, now Liam, almost 5 (in September), is beginning a new journey  — putting aside the old, tangible source of comfort, peace, encouragement, and friendship to receive another greater One. 

We’re so proud of you, son. And anticipate knowing you and enjoying you and receiving from you differently in this new stage of life.