DJ, the 10-year-old superhero-in-waiting we are hosting for the summer, has now been in our home for five days. And as I’ve learned all about this spirited young man who is incredibly caring, CURIOUS and courageous, I’ve also learned a few things about LIFE … and DOING life with four boys.
5 Lessons from Hosting a Superhero-in-Waiting
1. The language barrier is tricky but not impossible to overcome. We’ve been using hand gestures, pictures and the Chinese phrases the boys learned from our amazing summer Mandarin tutor to communicate with our Chinese-speaking superhero. Although we don’t always understand each other, we have found ways to communicate our ideas WITHOUT the use of language apps, which we’ve found somewhat unreliable. Thank you, though, Google Translate, for your fine attempts. I’m pretty sure my host child did not ask me for a gigolo, but next time I need to say something inappropriate to a 10-year-old boy who may report me to his nannies, I will let you know.
2. Taking four boys to the grocery store is a little bit like unleashing a pride of lions on a field of deaf gazelles. Those free samples didn’t know what they had coming to them. I fear for the lives of the Costco employees the boys may pounce on at our visit next week. God bless you, Costco, for providing what you will call “samples” but we will treat like progressive dinner in order to feed a brood of now FOUR superheroes who NEVER. STOP. EATING. Our wallet is forever grateful.
3. Four male members is too many to squeeze around one toilet at one time. “Sword fighting” must now take place in shifts, or the bathmats and walls become collateral damage. (New mothers of boys, we know you think that YOUR sons will never use their male members in disgusting ways when they race each other to the bathroom after one too many juice boxes on a long drive home. God bless your heart. If you have only one tiny human with a male member in your home, you may be spared the heartache of urine-stained toilet covers and bathmats that always feel wet. But if you have more than one tiny human with a penis, just throw in the towel — all of the ones you will now need to clean your bathroom on an hourly basis — and head to Costco for your ultra-sized package of Lysol wipes now.)
4. Our league of superheroes is apparently not for the faint of heart. For the last two nights, after a long day of Lego building, trampoline jumping, swing pushing and running around the 7 acres God gifted to us to survive life with boys, DJ has gotten up from the dinner table, washed his plate … and immediately walked back to the bedroom and tucked himself into bed without saying a word. Before 7 p.m.
5. Although we walked into this hosting experience praying to BE a blessing, we’ve discovered that WE are the ones most BLESSED. DJ is more precious, more beautiful and more amazing than we could have ever DREAMED. We were anticipating a 10-year-old boy with the battle scars of life without parents — from a decade outside the unconditional love of FAMILY. And although we do see glimpses of those wounds — when he’s not quite sure what to do with three boys who want to cuddle with him, when he’s stiff and uncertain when we wrap our arms around him, when he doesn’t understand how to operate inside the “rules” of a home and looks confused when we tell him he has to eat only in the kitchen and ask us before running out the door outside — what shines the BRIGHTEST is his PERFECT HEART. This angel, this sweetheart — he is BEAUTIFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. His curiosity and childlike wonder have renewed my own, and watching him view the world through new and fresh eyes has caused me to do the same. His curiosity, his courage, his care for others, his HEART — they have blessed us and broken us this week in wonderful ways I can’t even describe. And one blog post can’t do his beautiful little personality justice.
That’s why, starting this week, I will be starting a new Facebook series called Superhero Strengths. I’ll be posting about ONE of the HUNDREDS of DJ’s amazing attributes every weeknight evening (because I need the weekends to LIVE life with these superheroes instead of DOCUMENTING it). Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ofcapesandcombatboots to follow this series and get to know our summer superhero.
And then feel free to share those insights with your friends.
You never know who may be waiting on the other end of your share to be blessed with an incredibly special SON! <3
This superhero deserves THE BEST.