My posts this week are likely to include an Ode to Joyce (my own mom...God love her), something about mother-in-laws (you reading, Mrs. Lisa?), maybe something serious, maybe something funny (at least in my own opinion), maybe something thought-provoking. I'll probably brag about myself and try to balance it out with some self-deprecation. Sound like something you might be interested in reading? (It sounds pretty lame to me.)
For starters though, I will acquaint you with my own children, my three precious, ever-present sidekicks because, well, I wouldn't be a mom if it weren't for them! Since it'd be weird to write about them in any kind of traditional, book report-ish fashion, my descriptions will be in the form of a letter addressed to them. Without further explanation, and (finally) getting this show on the road, here goes...in chronological order...
You came into my life when I was young. There's no denying this. At the age of six, you've already figured out that I'm younger than most of your friends' parents. (Not too long ago, the first thing you asked me on the ride home from school was "Why are you in your 20's when most of my friends' parents are in their 30's and 40's?") I continue to pray that my age has had no effect on my ability to be a good mother to you.
You are my first born and you exude first-bornedness. They could write and have written books about you (well, not you exactly, but you are a textbook case); about your first born intensity, rule following, perfectionism, and all out disdain for surprises (as characterized by the melt-down you had the other day when Daddy and I *tried* to surprise you with pizza for lunch on the way home from t-ball).
You've been intense since birth. You were born frustrated. You screamed for months. Others called it colic, but I think it was because something wasn't "just so" the way you wanted it to be. Finally, you got over it, as everyone told me you would (I admit I was skeptical). Next, you perfected rolling, crawling, and walking with break-neck speed, especially for your stature (which was nothing less than roly-poly). If you hadn't been my first or if I'd had other kids to whom I could compare you, I might have been concerned with your lack of talking. Then, one day, skipping babbling altogether, you began talking in perfect, articulate sentences. (And, might I add, you haven't stopped since.)
Your brain works so hard, I swear I can see the wheels turning. When you take a break from talking, I'm convinced it's because you're making a mental list of questions to pose to us to which, sometimes, I truly don't know the answers. (I mean, what five year old asks how banks work?)
We spent three years with you as our solitary "only" child. They were an amazing three years, and I'm grateful to you for all that you taught me about being a mom during that time. I hope you didn't mind being my guinea pig. I hope it didn't scar you permanently. I will always cherish the bedtime routine that took an hour of rocking, singing, slowly transitioning you to your bed, and tiptoeing (only to sometimes hit a creaky floorboard and begin the process over). Even though we knew it wasn't feasible to do this with number two, nor was it preferable to do with you, it's something special that we had. And that can never be taken away from me. Those first three years of your life were tumultuous to say the least. You attended college courses here and there, watched your parents graduate with engineering degrees, moved into a new house, learned you were going to become a big brother. And yet, you went with the flow. You were endlessly adaptable. And I thank you for that.
Before you became a big brother, I mourned the loss of "our" time together. I just knew I'd never love another child as much as you. It wasn't possible. Then along came that baby sister. And my love multiplied...not just towards her, but towards you. I loved you because you were not only my precious son, but you were (and are) an amazing big brother. You fill the role of doting big brother with ease, even if, from time to time, you have to lock your bedroom door for some quiet time away from those pesky girls. (I know you're in there working on some surprise art project or ciphering away in your puzzle book. And just the thought of that makes me smile.)
You aren't always intense (just 99.5% of the time). Sometimes you are hopelessly silly. And as much as it pains me to admit, I love seeing you in this form. Bouncing off the walls, making up nonsensical songs, getting dirty. It reminds me that you are a little boy, not the little man that you so often seem to be.
You are not without fault. None of us are. Despite your perfectionism, you can make a mess at the dinner table like no other, and don't seem to care about the ketchup dripping from your mouth (and nose, and cheeks, and off your shirt, and shorts, and onto the floor....). You are the pickiest eater in our household, which, I will admit, is probably my fault. But I'm still frustrated by it. Your intelligence often presents itself as contrariness. And, I can almost bet that at any given time there will be three different pairs of your shoes under my kitchen bar stools. (That is not where they belong, Ben.)
You're six years old. As a result, I have kissing you goodbye on your first day of elementary school, watching you learn to ride your bike without training wheels, and seeing you swim the length of a pool without floaties, learning to read, your first t-ball game under my belt. It's funny how these (seemingly small) milestones are so emotional for me. Apparently, I'm more like my mom than I realize. (But that's a whole 'nother post altogether.)
I could go on and on, but since I already have, I will close this now. Ben, you make me proud to say that you are my son. I am truly excited to see what the future holds for you. I have no doubts that "Kid, you'll move mountains."
I love you forever,
...and then there were two. We'll get to Miss Abby next.
In case you haven't had enough Mom Stuff, check out: How to Know You're a Mom.