If I choose to blog about the ladybug a little bit more than I do my other children. I am sure that most parents know that it’s not because I like her more, but because of the fact that I spend most of my time with her on a daily basis. The cellist is now a sixth grader, and while he does profess his love for me, when I do ask if he wants to hang out, he’ll give that very long pause and then ask…where are we going to go? I’m sure that an afternoon spent in JoAnn Fabric is not his idea of a great mommy and me date, and let’s face it, hanging around in Game Stop is not mine – although I must admit, we did have a Game Stop date the other day and it made me smile. But I digress.
The twizzlers are becoming mobile, but they would rather play with each other than really pay attention to any of my attempts to make them do “stuff.” Don’t get me wrong, they are a JOY to have and they keep me laughing as well, but they are not at the learning level of the ladybug just yet. I mean, she’s all about herself, and while that can be frustrating sometimes, it makes me kind of jealous.
I’m a bit jealous that she is who she is at all times without ever thinking about if someone is judging her for it. If she wants to wear lip gloss and sunglasses at two in the morning, she will. If she wants to wear a Punky Brewster-esque outfit to church because, “Mommy, it’s pretty!” then she’ll fix her little face into a determined look until we at least give her ONE item out of the outfit.
I want to hold on to every single moment from this stage. Cultivate her spirit, and let her know that it is perfectly fine for her to want to do things that others don’t, but also let her know that sometimes negotiation is not a bad thing.
I love hearing her laugh at cartoons that her big brother and I think are really wonky. I love seeing her carry five bags around the house while having an imaginary conversation on a Pink Pearl Eraser. I love seeing her cook Cheerios and cinnamon (even my good cinnamon) in her pots and pans while trying to tie a baby on her body. I love that she notices, and she applies, and that she mimics. It keeps me on my toes, and it let’s me know that there is such a fantastic gift in children.
We shut them out too much. Shut them up too much. Shoo them away. We abide by the “children should be seen and not heard adage too much.” I realize that when we were growing up, we had to learn how to act around the grown-ups. Some of us even had our spirits squelched more than we should have. We had to relearn how to appreciate things that other children learned while they WERE children. That doesn’t mean that our parents were wrong, they just did the best that they could.
The ladybug has a very quick wit. VERY. Sometimes, it’s so quick that I am forced to cut her a quick look and a reminder that she should watch her tone. The inflection is amazing for a three-year old. But then in telling her, I realize that maybe I should watch MY tone when speaking to people. Even when speaking to her, because whether we want to be reminded of it or not, we are talking to people. They may be our children, but they are no less individuals than we are. They deserve respect as well as guidance and love.
One thing that the black community in general suffers with, is always trying to keep a child “in their place.” I think that if we allowed them to be children instead of little adults, then they would very well stay in their places. Let’s go to the park more, pretend play more, allow them to tell us about their imaginary friends more without saying that they are speaking to some evil spirit. :- If we cherish the time while they are children, then I am sure that the memories that we have to look back on will make us smile more, instead of wish we coulda, woulda, shoulda.
When I see this kid:
I have memories of belly laughs and trying to keep up with my pace with her chubby little legs. I have memories of her calling out to her big brother the same way that I do. I have memories that are great. And that is what I hold on to as well as continue to create.
~Make It A Fantastic Day