Friday, March 4, 2011

Doing our best at this whole parenting thing...

There was supposed to be a gigantic post prior to this lovely little ditty, however--I had to share this story along with some thoughts that have been going through my head as a parent lately.

Our son is three. Scratch that--he is ALMOST 4. Last night I sat in my bed and I broke down. My sweet little baby is growing up before my eyes. I kept thinking--Have we spent enough time together? Have I been on Facebook longer than I should have? Did I take enough pictures of all of his milestones? Does he love me--I mean, really love me--the way a son loves his parent? Have we prepared him enough to continue on in life (i.e. kindergarten.

All sorts of thoughts came flooding in my brain and I just cried--it was an estuary of happiness and sadness--blending into one tear-soaked river. After I cried, I tip-toed into Deacon's room, knelt by his bed and just stared at him. I just gazed at his sweet little self--and how peacefully he looked while sleeping. That might seem stalker-like, but I think all parents do that (or at least I hope they do!) I was calmed and reassured that we are doing everything right for our family--the proof lies within Deacon--he is such a sweet, wonderful kid. I needed to have that cry and that silent moment with Deacon and as baby #2 gets closer to making his grand entrance--I know I'll have more of those moments--and I'll greet them with open arms and be ready to embrace them.

After that episode-I fell asleep and had a wonderful night sleep--I think it was because my head was clear.

Let me back pedal a little to try and explain why I may have started this emotional tailspin:

Deacon is in a preschool class of 24 kids--God bless the teachers! He is in Montessori--so the ages of kids vary from 3-5. Deacon is one of the younger ones in his class, so he has had a lot to prove to his classmates! The other dynamic about the class is that it is dominated by boys. Poor girls. These boys are wild--just as boys are. They are the toy gun-loving, super-hero acting, safari-adventurin' types. They do not have any toy guns at school (and neither do we at the house!) but I am telling you-it is boy code to just make a gun out of anything. The teachers do a wonderful job of keeping all this at bay--but I know it must stress them out to their core! The other thing about all the boys is how ENERGETIC they are and how "hands-on" they are. What I mean by this is that one minute they are lovey-dovey to one another--giving hugs, sharing, playing nicely--but within the next minute it can change to hitting, kicking, pinching, shoving etc.

Because of this--we often here of whether Deacon had a "good day" or a "bad day". If it is a bad day we get details. If it is a good day--we take it as that and just leave it be. They are so busy that they honestly don't have time to have a 5 minute conversation with each parent. However--only getting the bad stuff really made Doug and I wonder what we were doing wrong. He acted totally differet in school compared to at him. he rarely hits at home. He uses his words. It just isn't like that at school. I keep tring to remind myself that we also don't have 14 other boys in our house either!

Anyway--Doug and I went to pick him up yesterday and his teacher was leaving but stopped us. I held my breath. what now.

She said, "it's not bad." She continued to share a sweet story about my son caring for a little girl at snack time. She was crying and Deacon wrapped his arms around her and kept asking, "are you okay?" He told the teacher that his friend was hurting. The teacher said, "ask her if there is something you can do to make it better" Deacon said to the girl, "Can I give you a hug--will that make you happy?" I teared up right in the parking lot of his school. Teacher then said, "I just want you to know that there are MANY more tender moments that Deacon has in the classroom--and I apologize for not communicating those to you."

No apology was needed--I but it sure did brighten my day--and it really did hit me deep. Any parent would be proud of that moment. Doug and I practically ran to the playground--he saw us ran and screamed our names and gave us the biggest bear hug. We hugged him so tight. His other teacher confirmed his wonderful day by saying, "he used his words all day--no hitting" I take that as a wonderful lead in to a soon-to-be awesome weekend.

So we parents may not know or think we know "how to parent" by I assure you, you do. We instinctively "just know what to do".

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