Growing up

It’s so hard not to compare, even when we know we shouldn’t.

I helped out in my son’s classroom today and I always find myself thinking ‘he’s so clever!’ afterwards. I always catch myself out though and promptly stop it. I think some regular volunteering time in the class has definitely opened my eyes to where some of the kids are at too. They are all start from such different places. True, my 5 yr old is indeed a very intelligent boy, but he has weaknesses in other areas and those are probably not visible to the other parents.

For example, his teacher and I got excited today because he put a costume on in the dressing-up area and was proudly walking around in character (a postman wearing a wedding dress!) Not a big deal for most kids, but Mr 5 has never been interested in dressing up. At the start of the year he seemed lost in the dress-up area, always standing back and watching the other kids but never joining it. He seemed afraid to let himself pretend, more content to be seated at a table and working. Now he loves dressing up and it’s been great to watch this transformation in him.

I started thinking about how my goals for him this year, his first year of school, have been so different from a lot of parents. Where others have been hoping their child might learn to read or write their name or count to ten, I’ve just wanted my son to be happy and confident. It was in part because he was such a clever little cookie already but also because I wanted him to love school, no matter what the work side of things were. I was more concerned with character-building than brain building I guess. He is of course learning new things and increasingly his already alarmingly large academic knowledge but he is also maturing and becoming so much more comfortable in himself. That’s so much more important for him right now.

This time last year he wouldn’t speak to his preschool teachers and was horrified by the idea of talking in front of the group. I didn’t want him to be the shy kid, afraid to be called on in class. I didn’t want him to be like me. This year he has already been excited by giving a talk to the class, and has proudly stepped up in front of everyone at assembly to collect an award.

Every week I help out in his class I reminded of how he is growing up.

It makes me happy.

 

JW

 

 

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Here’s to the Mums!

It’s almost Mothers Day here in Australia and I always find it a time of quiet reflection, especially in the lead up to it. You see I spent most of my life prior to having children hating the day. I dreaded it, in fact. Due to a complicated set of family issues I didn’t have any contact with my mother from the age of 6 until a few years ago. So for me the day was always shrouded in that dark and heavy thing I had to carry around. It was always a day for other people — people who had the thing that I wanted the most.

Now though I love Mothers Day. I know that some people find it strange to be lavished upon by their children but I revel in it. I love their dodgy homemade cards and the little trinkets they make me at school or daycare. I love the stupid I ❤ Mum coffee mugs and the Mothers Day stall treats. I love their intention to let me sleep in despite the fact that I can hear them fighting through the door at some ungodly hour anyway. I love their excitement. I feed on it too.

I also love being a Mum.

I didn’t find the transition to motherhood easy and I well and truly lost myself in it for the first few years. In truth, I’m only just beginning to claw my way back out of the trenches now. It’s hard and messy and unacknowledged a lot of the time but it is so worth it. I take my role seriously too, pouring as much love and experience and fun into my kids as I can. I want them to know that I am always here for them, always looking out for them. I am so many other things but I will always be their Mum. I’m proud to have the opportunity to call myself one.

So Happy Mothers Day to all the tired, hard-working Mums out there. Enjoy your day in whatever form it takes.

And for those out there that find this day hard, I’m thinking of you.

JW