Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Open Letter to the future Mrs. Bean

Dear (future) Mrs. Bean,

There are so many things I have stored up in my heart for this boy who will one day be your husband. There are so many tidbits of his life I could share with you, but on the eve of his 10th birthday, the ones I have been storing up in my heart recently, I want to tell you before they are long forgotten. Bean~his nickname since birth, we used the expression Cool Beans! in college and the name Cole Bean! stuck almost instantly~is one of a kind. People use that term very loosely and about so many things, but believe me when I use it, he truly is one of a kind. After 10 years of being his Momma, I have only tapped into what I am sure is to be, a small fraction of who he truly is. As much as his Daddy is a potato, he is an onion. There are layers beyond the layers I have uncovered, some only you will know. But to get you off on the right foot of understanding, I thought I would share what I have learned about this young man to this point.

First, I promise, I have been teaching table manners. Since he could sit at the table. They just have not taken off. I still have several more working, teachable years until you break bread with him for the first time, just know, I am trying. He enjoys eating; he will try and like almost anything you will put in front of him. But whatever you do, don't touch his food. Just don't. Avacados and crunchy wassabi peas are the only things to date he won't eat. He loves to sit around the table, the very act of a family meal is very important to him. When his Daddy is gone and I set up dinner at the bar, he is visibly disappointed. Your mealtimes with him should be very entertaining. He likes to tell and listen to stories and his odd- fact wealth of information will astound you. He loves to be listened to and by listening, you must be looking at him or it won't count. When he is in a conversation with you, he is all in. You will love that about him. He is never looking over your shoulder to see who else he could be talking to and if for some reason he misses anything you have said, just please repeat it one more time. Trust me when I say, "Never mind," won't work for him; You will save so much time in the long run if you just repeat...because truly, he wants to know what you have said. It really does matter to him.

He's a hugger. And he will never pull away from a hug first. We've tried to see. He will outlast even the best of huggers. And he's not just a hugger but an I-need-to-feel-you kind of guy. I always have a head on my shoulder, a hand to hold, or an arm around my waist. It's his way of showing love and he needs to have it shown back to him. Love on him. Let him hold your hand. Hug him before he leaves for work and even when it's too hot outside, let his arm drape lovingly on your shoulders. It's his security. It's his way to love.

I hope you like his Daddy because if anyone will be like him when he grows up it will be him. He wants to be a Marine, hunt, camp, farm, do yard work, watch football, and anything else that defines his Daddy. What Daddy says goes for that one; Daddy's word is gospel. He will LOVE Texas A&M University, he will be in the Corps of Cadets, and he will be a Marine. He will be trustworthy and a hard worker. He has watched his Daddy his whole life with a careful eye and who he will become will mirror so much of that man. This will be a good thing.

He will have sympathy pains when you are pregnant, just be prepared. If something will hurt on you, for some strange reason, it will hurt on him. You will need to reassure him that when he bends his finger this way on a Wednesday with a pencil in the other hand and he gets a small pain, he will be ok. Again, just tell him, "Yes, you will be fine," and don't try to play around with him and say, "Oh no." It will become a "thing." Also, he is a germ-a-phobe. Some of this he comes by naturally, some of it...well, it's unexplainable. When you sneeze and he blows the air around him or he has the need to wash his hands after he just washed them or he won't drink after you or he won't taste a bite of what you ordered because it's off of your fork...just let it go. Trust me, just let it go. Oh, and don't grab food off of his plate. *Just let it go.*

You will be protected and loved forever once you become "his." He is the most faithful and devoted supporter I have ever known. If you are in his circle, you will forever be there. He loves who he loves with all of his heart. He is almost faithful to a fault and will believe the best in you always. He is very quick to forgive when he has been wronged and is very quick to want to fix things when it is not ok. He has the biggest heart of any 10 year old I know. He will never forget your birthday and the thought that goes into his gifts and homemade cards will be what draws you to him.

With all of this comes a faith so strong. His convictions run deep and is deeply remorseful when he messes up. He knows his salvation is secure and does not waiver on his beliefs. His heart is good and he genuinely wants to please the people who love him most including his Heavenly Father. He sings from the heart during church and will clap when moved. Just not with the beat.

At night, he has three things he must tell you. Wait for them. He will chase you down if you miss hearing one and repeating them back to him, so in the long run, it's easier to hear them out. And really, they're worth the wait.

"I love you."
"See you in the morning."
"Good night."

I guess the hardest thing I have had to learn is that he is slow. Slow, slow. He is slow to eat. He is slow to get dressed. He tells his stories slow. He is slow to make decisions. He is slow to do his work. He is slow to make a chess move, checkers move, or pick his three things in Clue. He's slow. I have learned patience from this very boy and it has taught me there is a reason in his mind for how he does things. I have learned his slowness is not necessarily to annoy anyone or a sign of being lazy. He is deliberate. He ponders. He thinks things out. It is why his handwriting is so neat, why he never misses a spelling word, why he is so very good at chess, and why I believe God has a plan for this slow, diligent, thoughtful boy. It will drive you crazy at times, but there is a purpose. Just remember that when on his slowest day it makes you want to fall on the floor in pure exhaustion.

He is a hard worker, self motivated, and determined...unless it's dark upstairs. That's when I know he is still a little boy and still in need of me. I will continue to teach him and love him and prepare him for you. You are going to be one of a kind too. You will almost have to be. I am praying for you. I am praying that God is very real to you at a young age and that your faith in Christ is strong before He ever brings you to my Bean. I am praying that your heart will be prepared to walk beside and love my Cole. He can be an odd little character, but through those odd little layers is going to be one amazing young man. For right now, you'll just have to trust me on that one.