Sunday, January 29, 2012
By five, I felt like Katie was already pretty solidly a grown-up. She had finished her year of pre-school and was ready to start Kindergarten at the end of that summer. She was reading well and was pretty self-regulated.
Jorge is only 1/2 way through his pre-k year and won't start Kindergarten for nearly 8 months. He's nearly reading, but switches to guessing after a word or two. He's right on track--in fact he's doing great at school and his teachers are completely in love with him and he's one of the most mature boys in the class--but he's just a different person all around than Katie. He has his own strengths and interests and patterns.
Sometimes when he's telling me about how much he enjoyed something another child shared at recess, I only hear whining about wanting something we can't afford or don't allow. Sometimes when he's sharing how hard it was for him to finish a project, all I hear is complaints about the way we organize our household. Sometimes when he's asking for a hug and a kiss, it sounds like a screaming whiny fit.
And sometimes, when I'm asking him to please be quiet so I can concentrate, he hears go away and leave me alone. When I ask him to help with a task, he hears me insisting he isn't allowed to do anything fun. When I tell him that he's not old enough or responsible enough yet for certain privileges, he heard "I don't love you."
We work at it. When we clearly aren't hearing each other's messages correctly we can let it hurt us, or we can ask each other to try saying it again in a nicer way. Words are powerful powerful things.
Five. Can't wait to see what this year brings.
I love you, not just through the storms, but maybe even because of them. Because you are your own self and because you are so true to your own heart. I may not always agree, but I do admire your conviction.
You are a daily surprise and a constant gift. You teach me things about myself and push me--daily!--to be a better mom and a better person. You add a spice and an intensity to our lives that can not be described. If your siblings are vanilla and almond--rich, warm, and mellow--then you, my dear, are cinnamon--complex, spicy, and absolutely necessary.
Love you, snickerdoodle. --Mom.