It is so interesting to watch my kids change and develop; sometimes I have to stop and really notice how they have grown and matured. There are certain moments that act as a snapshot of sorts, highlighting who they are right now.
Drew: Bridget and 2 other children were playing a very complicated version of house that included strained familial relationships and hot lava, hopping around the yard to avoid getting burned up while maintaining their fort home and faux-sibling relationships. Drew had been invited to play but declined, choosing instead to intermittently shoot hoops with his older brother between breaks sitting on the deck and petting the dog. He was obviously playing close attention to the house situation, however, because he would periodically yell, “Here comes a bomb!” and chuck a soccer ball at the intrepid lava-avoiding family. He never intended to actually hit any of them, there was no malice in his addition to their game, Drew simply wanted to be included but only on his own terms. He is not interested in imaginative play but does find it hilarious to make girls scream and run….great.
Sam: I recently bought the boys roller blades and this crazy amazing March weather has afforded us the opportunity to practice skating. Sam asked if he could ride his roller blades on our afternoon dog walk; I was nervous about our hilly neighborhood and his shaky skating skills but agreed that he could try it. He was very careful and slow on the trek down our street and around the corner and was struggling a little bit to go up the hill on the back side of our block…until he noticed that his good friend Ben’s dad was outside his house. Ben is very athletic and his dad is Sam’s soccer coach, facts that I’m sure were flitting through Sam’s brain as he casually sped up, started really working his legs like a professional roller blader might and refused to look in his coach’s direction. I was almost doubled over in laughter as I visited with the coach who honestly couldn’t have cared less if Sam could roller blade or not! Sam has an almost pathological need to impress those he respects but he would never want someone to think he was working hard to impress them. Sam wants to impress teachers, coaches, parents and grandparents but will do it without eye contact or acknowledgement that he has noticed you are watching. You can sometimes catch him glancing out of the corner of his eye, hoping you are suitably impressed with his skills; if you give him a sign of approval, you might even get an elusive real-Sam-smile!
Bridget: Oh how I hope this is a phase… I went to wake up the boys this morning and noticed that Bridget’s light was on. I know she didn’t sleep with it on so I sat on my bed and waited for her to emerge, nervous about the attitude that would rise from her bed. Before long, she sauntered (yes, sauntered) out wearing a new “every day” dress, a headband, and a preening pose. She carried the new big girl necklace Daddy gave her for her birthday and asked if I would help her put it on so that she would look “more beautiful.” Ugh. She asked each of the boys if she looked beautiful this morning, reminded me that she was wearing a beautiful dress 6 times before 8:00, and brushed her hair without whining and crying because it would help her headband look more beautiful. There will be extra encouragement today to touch worms, play soccer or basketball, and a promise that she will be reading by the end of next week. Please be a phase…please be a phase…please be a phase….
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