When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The sweet spot

Sometime, and I'm not sure exactly when, Matt and I entered into what might be considered the sweet spot of parenthood.  When I look at our two boys, now aged 10 and almost-8 years old, it dawns on me that somewhere down the road we've travelled so far, day-to-day life with kids got a little easier, a little quieter (relatively speaking!), a little less full of taking care of the boys every minute of the day and more full of interesting family conversations and enjoying each other's company.  We're way beyond diapers and toddler tantrums, and not yet at the stage of hormone-induced teen angst and rebellion (though with the eye rolls and "Whatever, Mom"s I'm starting to get from Noah, I'm aware that those years may not be far off!).  I've really been enjoying the freedoms and happiness this stage of life has brought us so far.

When you have boys whose thoughts and words are mature and wise beyond their years, it's easy sometimes to fool yourself into thinking you've got two young men at home rather than two children.  Every now and then, though, Will's fine-tuned emotional sensitivity takes us back a step or two and reminds us that he's still, in many ways, a little boy trying hard to make sense of the world.   His inflexibility around what he views as right and wrong, and the effort required to manage his very big feelings make him vulnerable still to emotional outbursts.  I get frustrated when we have moments like yesterday:  Will was audibly upset in the afternoon when Noah got invited out to go sledding with a friend and he didn't, and then later, the boys were watching the same all-star hockey game on two different televisions because Will couldn't handle the fact that Noah was cheering loudly for a different team than he was.  I hear Will complaining or crying over things that seem trivial to me and I can't help thinking, "When is this kid ever going to grow up?!"

Those kinds of thoughts are fleeting, though.  I was walking Will to school this morning, and when the bell rang, he did what he does every single morning, in exactly the same order:  looked right at me with his big brown eyes, said a warm "Bye, Mom", waved, and blew me a kiss.  I know from experience with Noah, who barely acknowledges me in the schoolyard anymore, that sadly, the days of my son blowing me kisses in the morning are numbered.  It's in those moments that I realize I'm not in any hurry at all for my little boy to grow up.

Yes, the sweet spot we're in now suits me just fine.

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