But, inevitably, the next question out of their mouths is, "how is Joshua doing with the baby?"
And, let me answer everyone: He is doing GREAT!
Since Joshua is 30 years old, most of his Therapeutic Recreation FRIENDS already have nieces and nephews. I've heard from some of the other moms about their adult children's feelings of jealousy...or sadness, because they feel left out.
I didn't spend one minute thinking about Joshua being jealous of Rhodes. That's just really not his character. Still, you never know. Joshua likes to keep us ALL on our toes!
But he is not jealous at ALL. If anything, he has taken his perceived role as the "dispenser of all the wise words from the older uncle" to a new
He has also been diligent in making sure that Marley, the half-a-dog, doesn't feel left out. Before Rhodie was born, Joshua would hold Marley on his lap and whisper, "I'll never forget about you. You'll always be my furry nephew."
Joshua doesn't really understand teasing. Or sarcasm. For probably the first 20+ years of his life, he would get so upset when anyone would try to "mess" with him...like, his brothers...his sister...Aaron-the-brother-in-law...or Jim's Dad.
He would get upset...or he would just slow-blink you. He didn't "get" it.
But, over the past 5-7 years, Joshua has been cracking some jokes. He's always been super funny...TO US. Like last night, when they were reporting about the winner of a hot-dog eating context. Joshua said, "70 HOT DOGS? He ate 70 HOT DOGS? Hasn't he ever heard about SELF-CONTROL?"
Took a while for me to explain to him that it was a CONTEST...because he is all about not over-eating.
Anyway, it's just been over the past few years, that he has started saying or doing things that are, according to him, "for the humorous."
And, Aaron...bless him. He is SO good with Joshua. He can get him to do things the rest of us can't...like, playing a game of Baggo, after he said he didn't want to. Or, getting him in the pool on a hot day in May, when Joshua had already firmly stated he would NOT be getting into the pool until after he got back from camp...which was at the end of the first week of June.
Aaron will talk sports with him all day long...especially Arkansas Razorbacks sports. And he will listen patiently, as Joshua tells him all about the crazy stories he writes.
Aaron also teases him like none other. Joshua doesn't always know whether to believe him or not (it would be a good bet to go with, "NOT!" Ha!).
Last night, Holly and Aaron were at our house. Rhodie was having his fussy time. Aaron was trying to calm him down, and it was all I could do to not ask him to GIVE ME THAT BABY.
But it's not my baby.
I KNOW THIS.
And his parents know him best of best of all...and they are perfectly capable of calming him down.
I KNOW THIS.
Finally, Holly went over and got him...and calmed him right down.
Joshua was witnessing all of this. He asked Aaron, "who does Rhodie like best...you or Holly?"
Aaron said, "it depends."
And then...because he was feeling all kinds of sassy...Aaron said, "actually, I take that back. Rhodie likes Holly better because she gives him treats."
Joshua said, "she does?"
Aaron said, "yes. She gives him candy, but I don't."
Joshua looked at him, and said, "I don't believe you, Aaron...HE'S A BABY."
Aaron said, "Awww...I'm just messin' with you."
Joshua stared at him, and gave him the most dead-serious look you have ever seen. He POINTED HIS FINGER AT HIM, and said, "God gave you the gift of fatherhood for a reason, Aaron, and you shouldn't take it lightly."
We are so thankful for baby Rhodie. He is a gift from God for sure...a gift to our WHOLE family. We all love him so much, and everyone is getting along JUST FINE!
"Children are a gift from the LORD..." Psalm 127:3