Friday, March 23, 2012

Who's The Parent Here?

I remember the exact moment I had the epiphany.  I was in the park with my boys, and they were climbing this great big old tree with perfect, wide curving branches.  I remarked, "I used to love to climb trees, you know."

My oldest son said, "Well, why don't you anymore?"

I thought for a second.  He's right.  Just because I'm an adult, that doesn't mean I should stop doing the things I love to do.  So I hopped right up in the branches and climbed way above my boys (not that I'm bragging, or anything).  I started being a bit obnoxious, yelling, "Wow.  What a great view up here!  Look how high up I am."  My sons probably regretted encouraging me at all.  But I loved it.

Yesterday the boys and I were playing at a creek.  The boys walked in the creek and threw sticks and rocks in the water.  We all practiced walking along fallen logs, which I especially love.

I've also started playing at the playground.  I think, 'Why sit on the bench and watch when I can be part of the fun?'

So I swing on the swings and climb on the climbers.  Once I was standing at the top of a climbing structure when an adult walked by with his dog.  He called to me, "It's hard to tell who are the kids and who is the adult!"


You're Okay. I Promise.

I was in the schoolyard when the bell rang.  A little boy in my daughter's JK class started running to get in line.  He tripped and fell.  He was crying because he'd skinned his knee.  His parents must have left or were far away, because no one was comforting him.  So I went over to him and rubbed his back. 

When he looked at his knee and saw a little bit of blood, he became even more upset.  I said encouragingly, "You'll be okay."

He looked up at me and choked through his sobs, "But what if I'm not okay?"

It broke my heart.  Instantly I assured him that I knew he would be okay, that I was positive.

That seemed to make him feel better.  I passed him along into his teacher's hands and went on to work, thinking sometimes we all need someone to let us know we'll be okay.

The Man Hug

I've said before that my nine year old son won't let me hug him anymore at school.  I was hugging him this morning at home, thinking he really needs affection since he's older and doesn't often sit on my lap anymore.  I was really getting into it, holding him tightly and cuddling, trying to make up for it.  I was thinking we're at home, which would obviously make it acceptable.  I was thinking my poor, affection-starved boy must be thrilled that his mom is giving him some love.

However, as always I turned out to be completely clueless.  Why is it we know everything until we become parents ourselves?  He endured a few minutes of my enthusiastic hug, and then he stepped away from me so we no longer had body contact, thumped me briskly a few times on my back, and muttered, 'Man hug' before walking away.

I was speechless.  A 'man hug'?  Really?  How is that even in your vocabulary?  But mostly I was thinking, 'You do not 'man hug' your mother'! 

There's got to be a way around this.  I will figure it out.  I'll get back to you when I do.  (Don't hold your breath.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Break Fun!

We had a hockey tournament in Niagara-on-the-Lake during our March Break.  The hockey was an exciting roller coaster ride of emotions.  And yes, there was a moment when I wanted to smack one of the other parents.  With deep love, of course.  But I took a deep breath and refrained.  And there were moments that took a few years off my life.  But there were also exhilarating times. 

The team bonding was even better.  Getting to know all the parents and children more was the best part of the whole tournament.  It was like a mini-vacation because we went to Niagara Falls as well, which is always fun.

We had a great moment one day in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  My husband and I went to a winery and did some wine-tasting while the kids ran around outside among the vines.  Then we took them to the park after a stop in town to buy chocolate and coffee.  It was a beautiful day; the sun was shining.  The kids were playing happily on the playground.  My husband and I were sitting on a bench.  I was eating chocolate, and it was good chocolate, too: dark chocolate almond bark with sea salt.  I highly recommend it.  It's a fabulous combination.  I was drinking my coffee between bites of chocolate; enjoying the sunshine on my face and the breeze in my hair.  It was a beautiful thing.

As a parent I've learned to take advantage of every moment like this, because you know that any second the kids will start fighting or someone will fall and start crying.  Or one of the kids will give the other one a wedgie, or a noogie.  Maybe that's just my kids.  Anyway, you have to take it all in and save it up as a great memory.  Ahhh.....