sometimes...


sometimes as parents we forget that our children are here to teach us just as much as we are here to teach them. or at least i forget this (and too often). this is especially true when things feel more chaotic, like after a move. my son does not respond to chaos well. you probably wouldn't guess this if you knew him, because he is very good at creating chaos. when he is feeling out of sorts he responds by making sure everyone else shares this feeling. it can be hard to remember to be patient and understanding when he is doing his best to make you feel completely frazzled and annoyed!

this week he has started making this annoying noise. a sort of laugh, that is a cross between fran drescher's laugh and a jack hammer... at the highest decibel level possible. we mostly ignored it at first (except when out in public), but it finally got the better of me yesterday, and i snapped. i told him he had to stop that terrible laugh because it was driving everyone (read: me) crazy. he informed me he learned it from a kid named harry at camp... which had ended last week. i made a snide comment under my breath questioning whether this kid had any friends with a laugh like that. my son, of course hearing me, brightly told me that harry was friends with everyone! I looked at him doubtfully, but then he told me that harry's "brain works differently" than other people's. i remembered that the camp was very inclusive, allowing all kinds of kids the chance to have fun together. my son had mentioned several kids like this throughout the duration of the camp but i hadn't thought too much of it. then he dropped the bomb, and told me that whenever you make that same laugh in front of harry... he gives you a hug.

ouch. this was definitely one of those high/low moments of parenting. the kind where you realize that your kid really is great, but also that you can be pretty lousy at this whole parenting thing. my son was reaching out to me, and i missed the signs. admittedly it wasn't the easiest sign to read, but i wasn't exactly taking too much time to look for it. it's also interesting that we as humans so often do things to push people away, precisely when we need them the most. i will do my best to keep this lesson from my son in mind for next time, but i'm kind of a "slow learner" and will most likely forget and need reminding again.

luckily i have a good teacher. one who has gotten lots of extra hugs lately.

12 comments:

KnitterMama said...

Oh. wow. This actually brought tears to my eyes. I am a little sensitive in this area myself lately and need CONSTANT reminders to slow down and just love my kids. Thanks for another one.

Faith said...

that's super sweet...kids are so amazing. thank you for sharing this...it gave me chill bumps. :0)

bless you...we all make mistakes as parents...it's the trying, the striving, the learning that makes us *good* parents and i can tell you truly are.

Melissa Crowe said...

What makes you a GOOD mother, not a lousy one, is that when the "sign" did become clear, you responded to it in a loving and thoughtful way--and you're thinking/writing about it now. We can't not make mistakes, but the good eggs learn from them. You're a goo egg, my dear. ;-)

Cary Walker said...

thank you all... its good to be a part of such a supportive community. this parenting thing is hard!

Marian said...

I never that patient and I constantly need the reminders too. You wrote such a sweet entry.

sammi said...

Oh how wonderful (and necessary) that is to hear....especially on this end where five (well, six in a matter of days) has been more challenging than I had expected. Your message came at the perfect time (is it just me, or does it seem like days can go by with ongoing frustration?) I will sometimes find myself going to bed feeling guilty at how the day went by, and am then quickly reminded the next day why it got there. oh what a challenging time it is, but it is those sudden silly and wonderful moments that make it all worthwhile.......

isabelle said...

I had fun reading your post ...
hope there was a happy hugging end !!

Leahdis said...

Hi, Im new to your blog and just wanted to say you have a beautiful family and your new house looks so story book! as for your son, its better late than never...they are teachers of the highest kind arnt they!

Laura said...

Give him an extra hug from his Nana since I can't do it in person. You are a wonderful mother and one of the most patient one's that I know. I am always proud of you.
MOM

Emerald Arts said...

Awww... kids eh... can't live with 'em, can't strangle them when they drive you nuts.

My brother is 13 years younger than me and I was kind of a second Mum to him. We used to joke that he had 1001 annoying habits, including verbal ticks (saying "iga" at the start of words), pretending to have broken limbs, refusing to eat certain colours of foods.... drove us completely mental, but now he's 17 and he's just the sweetest guy.

They grow out of it eventually and you're not mean for getting frustrated with him... kids can be beyond annoying at times, but they always end up making up for it.

Cary Walker said...

emerald arts- your response really made me laugh... sounds just like my son! good to keep things in perspective, and know there is hope for the future;)

sonia said...

thanks for sharing this Cary. It was so good to hear- and a good reminder that I need to listen to Ishaan differently than I do. miss you guys- wish you were here to go to the Red Hook pool today.