You have been six years old for almost a month now, and I’m so sorry for not having written this sooner. The last part of the summer and each week that you’ve been in first grade- FIRST?! grade…have sped by lightning-fast. You are a boy now. There is absolutely not even the tiniest bit of baby left on you. There is no chunk in your cheeks. You are all knees and elbows and full of amazing ideas and observations. Though I lay my eyes on you every day and am amazed by your growth, one of the coolest things about being your mom, is how much I really just enjoy spending time with you. You are such a nice, thoughtful and funny boy.
No one could ask for a better big brother than you. And George is NOT the easiest little brother, as we know. But you have patience unlike any that I’ve seen before. And you laugh at George when he is doing the most annoying things. He loves you so much and mimics every little thing you do. I KNOW that will get annoying in months and years to come, but consider it a compliment. He wants to be like you because you are SO COOL.
This summer we went on a bunch of adventures- to parks and festivals and picnics. You learned how to ride your bike without training wheels, you had 2 birthday parties (again!) and went on two beach vacations. You started first grade with the smallest bit of nervousness, and only needed me to walk you into your classroom 3 days out of the first 5. We are so proud of you. You have become this incredibly smart and intuitive kid. You pick up on emotions and situations that I don’t think other kids would recognize.
At the same time, you still very much love to imagine and play, which is another reason I am so proud of you! Not everyone can be creative enough to entertain themselves with two metal hair clips, or a travel book light, or whatever thing you’ve found in the house. But, you do. You come up with these great scenarios in your head and I love to watch you play them out, or listen to you play. Your imaginative playful nature is one of my favorite things about you, second only to your caring and kindness towards others. You are awesome and amazing, and turning out to be such a lovely young person.
All of this is not to say that we haven’t had our share of growing pains, ups and downs, fits and dizzyspells, if you will. In the recent past, you’ve gotten incredibly angry with us over seemingly unimportant things (in the grand scheme of life) — though they are very important to you. You have become filled with rage over: bedtime, losing privileges because of the way you’ve talked to us, the fact that we don’t have a finished basement playroom (?!), us asking you to eat dinner, “chores”, among other things. Though it is hard for us to understand in the moment why you are screaming at us, what is very apparent is that you are frustrated to a point of complete and utter loss of control over your emotions. We have talked about ways to deal with being angry. We talk about pillow punching and yelling into the pillow, taking alone time, etc. I know that after you have these fits, that you feel bad about it- I can tell. I can also tell that part of the frustration is our fault. Either I’m not listening, or I’m not stopping to hug and kiss you enough, or I haven’t fully acknowledged your feelings on an issue.
Does this make your behavior ok?
But, I can admit that you are not the only person at fault in those moments. Though surprising, (because you have never been a child to throw fits), I know that I should NEVER be surprised by a child’s behavior, and I should only be surprised by my own reaction to it. And I have been, I have. I hope you know that we’re trying. I hope you know that we’re listening, and that being a parent is almost as hard as being a kid. Rules are hard. It’s hard to not have fun all the time, and to have to do things you don’t want to do like go to bed or wake up on school days. There are lots of times when I too want to scream at someone or completely lose it over what would seem silly to anyone else. We are all just learning together.
And buddy, in the mornings, after dad and George leave for work and daycare, you and I have the house to ourselves. It is quiet, and we talk. Sometimes you watch a show or sometimes we’ll pack lunches together or read a book. Sometimes we’ll eat breakfast together. But it is quiet. It is calm, and most of the time, it is our time, and it is my favorite part of the day. We walk to school and you still hold my hand. You still turn towards me and rub your face in my belly like you want to hug and stay there in the yard of the school instead of going in with your friends. But eventually the bell rings, and the doors open. You find a friend to walk in with- usually Madelyn or Owen, and you run towards them. You turn around when I yell “I love you!” and you sign “I love you” to me, and wave. Mornings with you are my favorite.
This morning after you signed “I love you”, you turned around a second time and signed the word “poop”. I spent about 3 minutes trying to decide if I was annoyed by this or thought it was funny. I’ve decided it’s funny, because becoming a big kid is hard. Wanting to be a funny cool kid is hard. And the sign for “poop” is funny and I don’t think any of the other parents know it. And at least it wasn’t a different sign.
Oh Simon. Watching you grow up makes me wonder how I will ever manage to make it without my heart exploding into a million pieces with love for you and your brother.
I love you. I love you. I love you.