These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I want for you what all parents want for their children - to be happy. That is definitely true, but I also want you to be content, satisfied, loved and loving. It’s so important to me – the type of person you grow up to be.
Last night, you were brushing your teeth and you just started talking to me. I don’t remember how the conversation started but soon you were telling me about your classroom and how there is a time out chair and I asked you if you have ever had to sit in the time out chair. You were honest – you said that “yes” you had to sit in the time out chair before but you didn’t want to tell me why.
I told you that it was okay for you to tell me – that we could talk about it – but you weren’t convinced. You told me that you didn’t want to because it was too bad. You stalled by taking lots of drinks of water and finally, you relented and told me that you had been playing a game with a friend of yours when two other children came to join the game and that you had hit them.
I nodded as I listened and was careful not to launch into a lecture. I could tell by your reluctance to talk about it that you were only too aware of how inappropriate this behavior was.
I asked you instead – what did you learn from that experience. You seemed to think about it and then you said to not do that anymore.
You mentioned then about how there is a worse punishment but that you hadn’t had to do it – which is go to see the principal. I said that was good.
There was something very sweet about the timid confession of misbehavior last night. I felt like a confidant and I was so proud of you. I could see regardless of what had happened at that time, that you knew right from wrong in this situation and that next time, I suspected things would come out differently.
We snuggled last night until you fell asleep and the next day, I got the warmest hug from you when I dropped you off for school. A friend came over – you introduced her as Delaney. You asked her if she wanted to play Mr. Fox and I saw her face light up and she said YES! And then you both went to get your backpacks and lined up to walk down the hallway to the playground.
I stood in the hallway and watched as you proceeded down the hall. I found it hard to walk away and I feel drawn to you even now. A special little closeness that I feel because you trusted me to tell me something I wouldn’t have known – you took a chance - and I will not let you down. We will figure out these challenges together as long as you will let me.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
This past week marked your rite of passage into Kindergarten. Your first week. It was much anticipated and you weren't nervous at all. I would say the opposite - you were VERY eager for this new phase of life. I could tell you were excited to take on a new challenge. Sunday before your first day of school, I made your lunch and put it all neatly into your lunchbox and packed your AM snack in your backpack. As I went through this routine for the first time - I couldn't believe how choked up I felt. I knew that in your backpack was cash to be loaded onto your lunch account and I know there are days you will eat the lunch I pack and other days when you will buy and that is just amazing to me. It's hard to imagine you getting a lunch tray and walking through a line with all these other kids collecting your own lunch and taking your tray to a table to eat. You are growing up way too fast. My head is spinning. You LOVED your first day of school. It was wonderful - you couldn't WAIT to go back. You made friends, you enjoyed the lunchtime experience and the two recesses. You LOVE your new teacher and everything was new and exciting - the activities, the children, the grown ups! It was a perfect beginning. The first week has passed with flying colors and here we are in week 2. The novelty of the experience is wearing off a little and there are days when you would rather stay home, but you still love Kindergarten and are very glad to be there. Yesterday was a rough day and when I picked you up, your face was red and swollen with tear streaks on your skin. I asked what happened and you talked about how the game that you played in gym was too hard for you and you got upset and then later you fell on the playground and scraped your leg and that it really was the baddest day ever. You were so sad! I hugged you and suggested that we have Spaghetti O's for dinner since you love them. Then we talked on the drive to get Audrey about how we have to have bad days sometimes in order for us to really appreciate the good days. Also, when you are down - there's nowhere to go but UP, so things would be getting better - not worse. The evening was calm and healed all wounds and this AM you were upset about going back, but Daddy had the Midas touch - keeping things light and easy - so that by the time you went to school, you were in a very good place. I anticipate when I pick you up, that it will have been a much better day than yesterday.I love that you are at this point - that you can tell me about how a word sounds and what two numbers equal when you add or subtract them from each other.
You have also reached the milestone of pet owner. You are the very proud owner of your very own hamster named Peanut. He is adorable but you are MORE adorable. You love him more than anything and you bring him everywhere with you. He has come with us to the playground, down the slide, on the swing, and he plays computer with you and plays with your toys with you. He ends up driving cars and scurrying through obstacles from one point to another while you laugh and tell him he is silly and you love him. I just want to grab you up and hug you as I watch you play with this tiny little creature - you are so gentle and kind.
You are growing up to be such a wonderful person, Jack. It's an honor to be your Mom.