To my spirited child,
I dizzily watch you run in repeated, never ending circles around my legs while we wait to pick up Big Brother from school. Distracted, I catch a side-long glance at the other mothers patiently waiting with their still, quiet children by their sides.
I wonder how they do it – this whole getting-their-child-to-sit-still thing.
See, as an 18 month old baby you decided to climb out of your crib, scale a dresser, and flip over our counter stool – and you never looked back. You’ve been climbing, jumping, and flipping ever since.
In the school parking lot, you dodge large rocks and hurl yourself off the side of the concrete sidewalk (because of course, anything is jump-worthy), unable to contain your energy long enough to count to 10.
As I watch you speed vault over the nearest bench, I realize your love and joy for life is inspiringly contagious. So simple. So pure. So innocent.
You’re loud, sweet boy. Life is exciting! You holler with passion about how you “can run as fast as Flash, mom!” And I watch as you do just that.
All the while I dodge side-glances, an eye roll, and even a slight frown from the mellow mothers with their silent children lined up against the school wall. Their disapproving glances speak louder than any needless words. Yes, you are loud, you are fast, and you never sit still. I doubt you even notice these looks, but just in case you do, remember, sweet boy, that this is coming from a mother who has never been there.
She has not had the privilege of parenting a spirited little one like you.
At home, my spirited son, it is much of the same. You like to see how high you can jump off the furniture (despite knowing this is not allowed), you skid across every floor, and I don’t believe you have ever walked a day in your life.
As exhausting as your energy can be some days, it has been a joy to watch you grow. I have learned so much about you in these few short years I’ve been blessed as your mother.
I know that your passion for life is large, sometimes too large for you to understand.
I have learned that passion and confidence go hand in hand. You bravely catch spiders for Mommy. You heroically stop cars palm-up as we cross the street. And you regularly let me know without mincing words that I don’t need to worry about you because you are big and strong, and you would kick any bad guy in the face.
You have taught me that fear is a choice, and we must believe we can choose courage.
I know that with this passion comes intense emotions.
Sweet boy, let me tell you that you can throw a temper tantrum in the middle of Target like no other. You have an epic pout when you don’t get your way. And yes, you make sure everyone knows how unfair it is that you can’t have 10 pieces of candy and play on the iPad for 5 more minutes.
You have taught me to stand up for what I believe is right.
I know this: with these intense feelings comes a sensitive heart.
While spirited and seemingly unaffected, you actually possess a veiled sensitivity that is unseen at first glance. It’s true that you have an unmatched passion and contagious zest for life, but I have discovered that when received with an unintentional harsh tone, you are capable of extreme hurt. Your passionate heart not only loves deeply but hurts deeply.
You have taught me not to fear my sensitive nature, but to embrace it as a gift.
I have learned that you are quick to forgive.
Though your sensitive heart may hurt deeply, you have the uncanny ability to pick yourself back up, turn around and offer immediate forgiveness.
You have taught me that forgiveness doesn’t have to be complicated.
I have learned that you love big.
Your heartfelt zest for life brings love, pure and deep. You really, truly do love your Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Papa, Grandma, Other Papa, Auntie, Uncle, Big Brother, Little Brother, your best friend, your preschool teacher, your swimming lessons teacher, and that barista at Starbucks that gave you a donut hole – THAT much.
It is not uncommon for you to casually tell me that I’m your “best mom.” And while snuggling is not your forte – you’re much too busy – you regularly drop everything to disperse the World’s Biggest Bear Hug.
You have taught me to love without bounds.
My beautiful boy, I have learned this: I still have so much to learn from you. Your unassuming, contagious joy. Your ability to offer abundant forgiveness. Your pure, unquestioning, passionate view of life. Plain and simple, your energy.
My precious, animated, spirited son. While being your mother has challenged me, stretched me, refined me, and downright worn me out more than any other thing I’ve accomplished, it is the utmost honor and complete joy to be blessed as your mother.
These are the things you have taught me. These are the things that I’m learning.
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