Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Last night in the car, after gymnastics I was beaming with pride at all of the new things Hayden was willing to try. I know, for him, trying new things is largely outside of his comfort zone. He is most content, when confident. Feeling over-whelmed by sudden emotion of a night filled with small triumphs, I simply said, “I am so proud of you and I feel so blessed to be your mommy.”
Hayden smiled sweetly catching my glaze quickly through the rear view mirror and just said, “Okay.” Then he just looked back out his window. I swear I heard crickets chirp inside the car. I thought maybe he didn’t really hear me, but then I understood that he just cannot fully grasp yet, the love we have for him. That is okay, I hope he spends much more time just admiring the little things in life.
Hayden turns six on Thursday.
It is said, all we need to know we learn in Kindergarten, right? Maybe. Sharing, kindness, community, schedules, balance, order and now they even delve further in to the core subjects.
It has been a challenge for me as a parent, at times. He is SO very much like me. He is emotional and craves a sense security. Chaos and confidence, do battle on occasion. He possesses a deep drive to explore, be social and discover. He is empathetic and passionate. He does his darnedest to find the good. It is easy for me to want to help him along when I should just observe, or listen. With Hayden, I put a lot of thought into my actions. Is this about how I might have felt as a child? Or him?
He recently, told me he is working on being a “gentleman”. He has held the door for me and let me pass before him. He says “please” and “thank you” and knows what being truthful means. Sometimes, I worry often unnecessarily, that I am too passive or have yelled at or quarreled with him too much. Maybe, I forgot to explain “why” something has to be. And eeek, I cringe knowing I just flat-out handled a few situations wrong. I have endless anxiety, and have to pause to remind myself, he needs to discover things on his own and some lessons just require time and experience.
It was not until I became the mother of this child, in my thirties, that I truly opened my eyes to the world. When he was born- love radiated and it was ever powerful. As he grows, I equally marvel at (and fear) the world around him. All of the early life lessons he is just beginning to discover had become cemented and realized for me. After almost 40 years, my child has begun to raise me.
Valuable life lessons for a growing boy, and his mom.
Its okay to fall. Get up and try again. Bruises heal in time. It may take a third or forth try, it may never be perfect, but it will be yours to experience. Do your best.
Be brave. Stand up for yourself. Be loud and be proud of your beliefs, but respect that others have the right to disagree. You will teach as much as you learn, from the different choices people make and chances they take.
Be adventurous. I love watching you on that balance beam and rock wall. I know it outside your comfort zone, but that is often where you will achieve the most rewards. This mommy is very fearful of heights. I still climb that play-set to chase you (and your brother) and I would climb a mountain, if I had to.
Be patient. This is hard for you. It is hard for me, too. You are worth waiting for, in every way. In many cases the things you want right now are objects, later in life patience can take on a different nature.
Its okay to love fully and unconditionally, but understand hurt. Know that truly loving someone involves all of your senses. Sometimes letting go, of a one-sided situation paves the way to that beautiful union of souls and takes more strength than you can imagine. Love to fully function must flow two ways. Look for this in friendship and later (much, much later) when you find that special friend.
Life is unfair. Sometimes it hurts. Count your blessings, you are still fortunate in life in so many ways. Always do be YOUR best and try to make the world a better place.
Your heart will be broken and it will heal. Remember the pain, and if possible, try not to be the cause. Choose your words and actions with care. Do not routinely accept less than you give. It may not feel balanced every single day. Romance, and be romanced. Put this lesson on hold and we will come back to it in 10 years (or more). Right now, just play nice and be fair to your friends. Help them up, if they fall or struggle. A good friend will help you.
Keep your eyes on the road. Appreciate the past, but always look forward.
Never allow yourself to be satisfied with debt. Save your pennies. They will add up over time. It is okay to dream, but the best dreams have no strings attached and are worth the work and the wait. Do not accept, for one second, that your life must be spent paying on debt.
Work hard. You may not have the shiniest of toys and the biggest home at any given moment. These are just things. Time spent in dedication and sacrifice, will only increase the beauty and value.
Find your faith. It took me thirty years, but you always MUST seek what is true for you. It will embrace you during the times you need it most and fill your heart in times of joy.
It’s ok to admit when you are wrong. Just do your best to make it right. This is hard for most adults, I know, so we will work on this together for a long time.
Always make time. Sometimes we are so busy with life. Never be too busy to kiss your mama goodbye before running to catch the bus. As your life becomes more about screens- always remember, to spend quality time with your biggest fans.
Write “thank you” notes and give hugs. Well now, that’s just being polite.
If you feel lonely (and sometimes you will) just use those beautiful wings, to find your roots. One thing I better understand as a parent, is it still can feel lonely. I can miss my children after 3 hours, I cannot imagine how my parents felt when I left home! Reconnect often. The time, that as a teen and later as a new mom, felt infinite, is not. I have a better understanding for what my parents gave and continue to give.
Don’t pee on the seat. It is gross. I will call you out when you are 40 years old, if you grow lazy with this. 🙂
Little man, I look at you with awe. I want to protect you- to prepare you, and to, allow you space to discover the wondrous little things outside that car window. It is hard, life is harder than you know right now. The moment you were put in my arms I wanted to shield you- now I must begin to find faith in the coming years that I have given you the start of knowledge you need. Many of the lessons you won’t need right away, it better be a long long long time before you have a real girlfriend, so for now we will start with not peeing on the seat, thank you notes. It took me almost 4 decades (and the love of two children) to navigate this far.
Hayden, you have taught me so much. You were the inspiration for me to write and often this very media makes me feel less than perfect. Constantly seeing other moms, how they can craft or cook and seemingly balance it all with kids in tow, and still look beautiful. I had to learn to stop “watching” others so much and simply invest more time in you. Just watching you become that “little gentleman” encourages me daily and fills my soul with inspiration. You are off to a great start with your journey and have made mine far more enjoyable.
Thank you, for expanding so many valuable life lessons in your mommy’s little world. I hope as I continue to grow I make you just as proud.