Five-Minute Friday is a group writing party hosted by Lisa-Jo at her blog. Everyone writes for five minutes in response to a one-word prompt without worrying or overediting. We then share our words with the community so we can encourage each other. It's not about being perfect- it's about loving words and sharing the fruit of that love with others.
We started it because he always woke up so, so early...at the first chink of light peeking in from behind his blackout curtains, he was wide awake and ready to go. He's always been like that...ahead of us, somehow- hard to predict and a challenge to keep up with.
We started leaving him messages.
He was an early reader, self-taught, blazing through books and words the way he blazes through life in general, a seven-books-before-breakfast kind of kid. We'd write to him, draw him pictures, leave them taped to the wall outside his room.
"When the big hand is on the 7, come and get us and we will have breakfast. Please play quietly in your room until then."
"Good morning! Today is Sunday! Please choose what shirt you want to wear to church and then you can use the Legos in the living room until we get up."
"At 7:00, you can come get Daddy's iPod and play a game while we get ready to go to the store. Please don't wake up the Sisters."
It became our ritual...something he looked for every morning, something we did every night. Sometimes the messages had themes that went on for weeks...mythological creatures, numbers made of Legos, drawings of little Playmobil characters, Vikings, an animal for every letter of the alphabet. The messages communicated something so much bigger than information. They told him he mattered, that his interests mattered, that we cared that he was up before the crack of dawn and wanted to connect with us.
Then, one day, the messages started to appear in our room. They were slipped under the door or taped crookedly to the wall by the dresser, complete with illustrations and creative spelling. They told us he was excited about breakfast or that there were only three more days until the weekend. They told us stories about knights and what it would be like if the planets in the solar system had a sleepover. Most importantly, they told us he loved us.
|The Chick-fil-a cow as a knight and my very own golden ticket|
|Mama and Daddy, dressed as knights with our own heraldry.|
No matter how hard I might find it sometimes to understand this boy, there is one thing I know. He and I speak the same language - we feel love in the written word. His writing wraps around me like a big hug from his increasingly lanky arms. With stacks of his messages everywhere, I can't bring myself to throw any of them away yet. He's piled his heart up in my bedroom, one sheet of paper at a time.
As long as I can write to him and he to me, I know we will be able to handle whatever challenges arise.
For more Five-Minute Friday reflections on "messenger," visit Lisa-Jo Baker's blog.