Wednesday, March 16, 2011

:: my first boy ::

I walked into Aidan's room this evening and had a moment.

I had set up a reading lamp clamped to his bed so he could read books for a little bit before bedtime.  He was laying on his back, book on his tummy with his leg crossed over the other.  I walked by his room as I was putting laundry away and the view just stopped me in my tracks.  I stared at him for quite awhile, studying his little face as he concentrated, half frowning.  He was sounding out some words and quietly whispering to himself.  He didn't notice me standing there until he heard a little *sniff* (I have a cold AND I was tearing up). My mind flashed back to the days when I held him, snuggled and secure in my arms, and sang songs to him...

"Goodnight, goodnight, sweet baby.   The world has more for you than it seems.  Goodnight, goodnight; Let the moonlight take the lid off your dreams."

I remembered the feeling of the newness of motherhood.  The urge to protect, but the uncertainty of it all.  Not know what to expect as he grew into a child.  I remember wondering what his personality would be like, if he would look like me or if he'd keep his blue eyes.  I used to breathe a sigh of relief that I had time to "figure it all out".  Plenty of time to learn what I needed to know before he became more aware.  I laugh to myself as I type this.  I don't know a whole lot more now than I did back then, save for the obvious answers regarding his looks and personality.  I still don't have it figured out.  I still get frustrated and yell at times.  Today was a tough one with the listening and the attitude.  I don't have all the answers.  I still have the urge to fiercely protect, but differently than back then.  It's hard for me to give up control sometimes and let him figure things out on his own.  I get annoyed at all the questions sometimes.  Today when I took a minute to watch, stare and think, I came up with a little list for myself.

- Calm down.  Take a deep breath and parent quietly.  Don't yell into the next room...go to him.

- Take time to answer questions.  He has a lot of them - and for good reason.

- Catch more hugs and snuggles.  Even when he pulls away, he still has a smile.

- Spend more one-on-one time with him.  It's tough being the oldest of three at 4 years old.  It's easy to get lost in the shuffle.  Make him feel important and secure.

- Talk more/Read more.  He understands more than I realize.

- Pay attention.  He is a really intelligent,funny, insightful kid and has a lot to say.  Let him say it.  Be a better listener.  Close the computer and listen at 100%.

- Pray harder.  I have a lot of fears regarding Aidan growing up, becoming more aware of the world and people.  I don't want those fears to get in the way of him experiencing new things.  My tendency is to cling too tightly and I pray that I don't suffocate.

This time will be gone so quickly.  He'll be gone one day (my heart catches as I type this).  He'll move away from me and I will miss all of the questions, messes and maybe even the meltdowns.  I will miss him dearly.  Please, time...slow down.  Give me more time with my boy - my firstborn, before I have to let him go.  God, please give Ryan and I the wisdom we need to shape this boy and help him love You and become a good man, faithful friend and (someday) loving husband.

Tonight, I wiped the tears.  I kneeled beside his bed, took the book out of his hands and he looked at me with those big blue eyes, so much like his dad's.  "What, mommy?"  I told him that I loved him more than he could ever imagine.  That he is my first boy and that it is important that he realize how special he is.  I lovingly described how I used to hold him, rock him and sing songs just to him.  "Without no Gia or Liam?", he asked.  I realized then and there that he loves to hear stories about his babyhood.  He laughs when I tell him about when daddy changed his diaper and he peed everywhere.  We had a good laugh about the time he grabbed his diaper in a restaurant and poo flung out of it.  How we rushed to get out of that place, stepping in poo in the process (it was dark and I had cleaned up the best I could tell).

That 5 minute talk was like therapy.  We both felt happy and bonded afterwards and I could tell from Aidan's demeanor that he was content.  So, I got him out of bed, much to his surprise, and we played 2 rousing games of Chutes & Ladders (he beat me twice).  It was great to spend some special time with him and I know that we need to do that more.  It's easy to get frustrated and it grieves my heart when I think of how he must feel sometimes when he feels ignored and unimportant.  I have to remember...he is only 4.  So young, yet growing so fast.  These are important years.  I plan to make the most of them.