Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rules for my son

I've been a mom for more than 5 1/2 years now.  Each and every day, something new: (funny/amazing/exciting/scary/joyous/disgusting/heartbreaking/exhilarating/etc/etc/etc).  Today, for instance, we experienced Raegan's new-found love of mashed cauliflower (obsession is more like it), Gavin's exuberance as he finished building his new Lego set all by himself, and, the *pleasure* of having to clean up after Brynn as a stomach bug overtook her on the way home from the grocery store.  The first two memories: funny and heartwarming.  The last memory: one we wish we could forget but will most likely be sharing when the kids are grown and we're all gathered together for the holidays.

When we got home, there was a lot to do in order to recover from the attack of the stomach bug on the backseat of my car.  Thank goodness for Randy, and his specific and thorough attention to detail: the back of my car looks brand new.  After Brynn was cleaned up, changed into some warm jammies, and resting on the couch with a bucket beside her, I needed to unload and put away all of the groceries.  I was right around the corner in the kitchen, and could overhear Gavin's concerned little voice.

"Are you ok, Brynn?  Do you need anything?"
(unbelievably weak and barely above a whisper), "No, Gavin"
"Ok, well, I'm going to build my new Legos right here on the table in case you need anything"
"Ok, Gavin." (pause, pause, pause) "Hey Gavin, I don't like being sick."
"Yeah, it's no fun to throw up, but I'm going to take care of you."

At what point did my innocent little chunk-a-loo who loved bouncing in his johnny jump-up become this little person, showing care, concern, sympathy, empathy,....?"  He's been growing up at a far faster rate since both Raegan was born and he started school--and I'm having mixed reviews on the whole process.

I think in terms of school years; and realizing now that we're on the downward slide of this school year, the reality of my little kindergartner moving on to the next grade is starting to appear on the horizon.  Just earlier this week, he brought tears to my teacher/mommy eyes when we were going through the papers in his folder.  I unfolded a wide strip of paper that had a row of animals, colored in and labeled in adorable kindergarten fashion.  Quickly, I noticed the first tile had The Mitten by Jan Brett written on it, and then recognized the animals as those characters in the story.  Before I could get a word in edgewise, Gavin said, "Oh, that's a book by Jan Brett called The Mitten."  I know it might not sound like much, but for a little kid to enjoy a story enought to recall the name of the author, that makes a little bright spot on a teacher's heart.  And for a mommy who happens to be a teacher, the spot is just *that* much brighter. 

There are so many other aspects of Gavin's persona that remind me that time is only ticking away and moving forward (quickly).  His sense of humor and use of sarcasam (both vital skills living under our roof), the intelligent and insightful contributions to conversations, the sense of patience and compassion that he's developed, and his general adorableness-all-the-while-maintaining-a-sense-of-cool...all of these things serve as staunch reminder that we are raising him to be an amazing little guy.

Of course, there's always those little 'but-what-if's' that give me pause.  Just as I said,  each and every day brings something new; each and every day brings moments of concern and a 'check-in' with my parenting decisions.  I try to keep the fact that he's still a kid and he's learning all the ins and outs of being a fully functioning member of society in the forefront of my brain, so it can help filter out my parenting woes and concerns.  Usually, it works, but there's always those times when I can't shake it.

Through a friend on Facebook, I came across a link to a blog that I am so grateful for, specifically for the times when I wonder if I'm doing a good job in raising Gavin.  I think that all moms of sons need to read it, become inspired by it.  I'm going to print out a copy and put it into the memory box I keep for him. Check out 25 rules for mothers of sons; they have a compiled an inspiring list for providing ample opporutnity for your son to become a well-rounded and balanced individual.

In reading the list, there are a good majority of these 'rules' that I already follow, as well as a few that I'm working on (especially number 12!).  Of course, I trust my mommy instincts first and foremost, but a little extra inspiration can only enhance the experience of raising a son.  Thank you for this great list--from both myself, and from Gavin (who is grateful for rules number 12, 14, 18, and 22!)

taking care of his little sister while she's sick

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