Having such a large family, and being a mother for so many years has taught me one of the most important lessons in life. It is that I know nothing about anything.
I guess that is the moral of parenting; you think you know but you really don’t. It is all tried and error.
Being a parent tries your patience. It leaves you frazzled. It tugs your heart into a direction that you never knew existed.
As a parent you have to make heart-wrenching decisions such as whether or not to send a six year old to school with a pulled muscle in his neck, (that he got from falling asleep on the couch playing video games,) and which seemed to come and go all day on Sunday, he was either laying down complaining about pain, or he was practicing all his tae-kwon-do moves on his older brother including flying kicks to his ankle. Subsequently Monday morning his neck was hurting so much before school and you have to choose whether to let him stay home, or be a meanie and force him to go to school. I chose the latter, and though I kept my strong-willed mom composure, as I explained to him that he couldn’t miss school because a pulled muscle takes a few days to heal, and I would write a note to his teacher but he needed to go, I really wanted to keep him home and cuddle with him all day, to baby him and tell him that I think school is a horrible place that tries to fit him in a box and I don’t want him in a box. Yep heartstrings, tugged.
This is my youngest. The six year old verbal genius that will correct me whenever he gets a chance, he is too “hyper” at school, he is too “bouncy” at school. He needs a special swivel chair and his own desk in a classroom of community tables. Why now after raising so many (we have 11 in all, 8 full-time) is my youngest testing me and challenging me. You see he is exactly like our oldest child. Persistent, verbally inclined. He is wide-eyed and adventurous.
He is bright and ready.
He is ready for something more than sitting at a special swivel desk and earning 24 stars during the week for “behaving” in class. Every Saturday he stays up all night, he is a night owl but I have to melatonin-induce him most school nights to get enough sleep for school but if I don’t give it in time, he will tell me that I should have given it to him earlier because it keeps him awake otherwise.
What kills me is that I see all of my mistakes through his eyes. My former parenting mistakes and I am saddened by my lack of experience when I was dealing with my oldest and he is officially the poster child of my trial and error. I didn’t know what I know now. (He is however a great example of my test of parenting, graduated, followed his dreams to become a professional chef, traveling the world, he still has his spirit.)
As a first time parent I was blinded by the box. The box of public education and the one-size-fits-all floor plan of the elementary school system. I thought their was something “wrong” when he didn’t know how to read in kindergarten. When he fought me because he didn’t know how to do his homework, when he bounced off the fucking walls, up and down, up and down, opening the fridge 1000 times when he was supposed to be sitting down doing his homework.
For years I was mad. I cried. I yelled and I stomped my feet and I thought something was not right but I didn’t know what it was. I know now. My little one was being forced to fit into a box. A box way too small for his large imagination and his yet to come dreams, a box that could not contain him, and entertain his mind long enough to keep him focused.
How can my kid be focused. I looked around my life and my house and into myself and realize that these two cosmic twins are just like their mama. I am bored easily, I stay focused when I am entertained, if I am not?? Bye.
Is that a learned behavior or a temperamental wiring? I don’t know. But I do know this. I do not want to squash it. According to Osho we destroy our children and I truly believe that is the truth. It is not intentional but it just is. I am trying to NOT do that. That is my goal and although I said earlier I know nothing; I know that I am on to something, that I am going to find my way to guide this little guy through life towards his best path.
That I am going to explore any options that present their selves to NOT destroy his spirit. His spirit is bright, he is six. He still loves life and trusts this world and I will try my best as a parent to protect that.
The journey continues….