On this Weddennessday, I'd like to share another bedtime story with you.
Bryon loves our boys. His love is equal for both, I'm sure, but that love is unique to each of them - who they are and what they need from him.
Trevor is older and more mature (the product of divorce) at 11. He loves Bryon, seeks his parenting approval and discipline, and they have a very healthy relationship. That said, Trevor slips with respect sometimes, thinking of Bryon as more of a friend instead of a parent. Bryon expected this - oldest boy divorce scars, he says - because he belongs to that same club. Trevor feels a pull toward Shoes sometimes, as if he's the one most deserving of that "father" bucket of respect. He is the defender of his dad's actions no matter what they are - but he is also the one who will absolutely ask his dad some very difficult questions about the decisions he has made. Nobody ever coerces Trevor; it doesn't happen. Trevor is inquisitive by nature and VERY direct. My point is that Trevor's love for Bryon started from friendship and has grown into parental love over the past couple of years. Now there is trust, respect, and appreciation that Bryon is raising him and teaching him how to be a man of God. Trevor sees that effort and sees how Bryon loves me. They go play ball together and Bryon considers it mature enough to be considered 'guy time' instead of family time. They talk about friends and girls and b00bs, and what Jesus expects from men. They high five and beat on each other at bedtime every night. Then they fart on each other and call it good.
Andrew is different. I forget that he was still little when he met Bryon - only 7. So, he loves him like a 7 year old loves their daddy. He doesn't love Shoes any less - oh no - but he recognized early that Bryon was all in for them, too. Trust came super fast. Also, Andy requires smooshing and attention and Bryon gave it. Usually at bedtime. Andy waits until everyone else has been put to bed - partially because of embarrassment and partially because he wants the attention all to himself (typical middle). After the house is quiet, Andy slinks out into the hallway and asks Bryon for a hug. It's very sweet. So the other night, Andy emerged from his room (with the handmade loft bed built by Bryon last fall) and plunged his hands out for that hug. His little gecko fingers were flexed in ten different directions. In a big swoop, Andy leaped and Bryon grabbed until they looked sort of like a praying mantis with stick legs was attacking the daddy. Andy had him around the neck and Bryon hugged around his tummy quietly for a moment or so. "Hug tighter," Bryon said. Andy giggled and squeezed more. "I always wish that I'd hugged my dad tighter than I did and now he's gone... so hug tighter," he said again. Andy smiled hard and closed his eyes. Then he smiled, rubbed his beard on Andy's face and said, "And remember this, too, okay?" More giggling, still. Then Bryon teared up and put him down, high-fiving his little critter off to bed.
My heart went pitter pat.
He knows that he didn't make our two boys (and he insists that they remain respectful and in contact with Shoes), but God gave them to him for a reason just the same. They are HIS boys, too. I think that's finally sinking in for Bryon.
How blessed they all are.