Posts tagged ‘attitude’

June 24, 2013

i’d like to think it’s true

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June 19, 2013

it’s a boy! (with a teenage girl living inside)

the first time i was pregnant i confessed that i was apprehensive of having a boy. “i feel like i have the politics to raise a solid woman” i would say, “but, what do i know about making a man?”. my doubt was always countered, multiple little boy moms assuring me that raising a boy was an amazing, tender experience, and that you raise a good man just as you would raise a good woman.

it seemed as though i was the only one amongst those who knew me who wondered; most were beyond confident that my destiny included sons. “i can’t see you with a daughter” my oldest friend asserted, “you are meant to raise boys”.

as i approached my due date, i had come around and when my first son was born, i, admittedly, breathed a sigh of relief: all stereotypes and preconceived notions about gender aside, i thought that, if nothing else, by raising an ‘xy’ i would be spared the teen years with a daughter who, if anything like me, would resist and rage against any strong female figures in her life, create a tempest, just because she could, and inflict emotional pain and strife like it was a competitor sport (sorry mom).

with my second pregnancy, it was the opposite: i was scared to admit just how much i hoped for another male. ‘i’m just not cut out to raise girls’, i often thought; “what if it’s a girl?” i would say, begging my spouse, parents, and friends for reassurance that i could be mom enough.

the people in my life tried to assure me that i had it all, that any girl would be fortunate to be raised by me, that i could be more of me, or less of me, to support her to be her best.

but, i was unconvinced.  the young ones, with their pink and their pouts… i worried i would ruin her with my intolerance. the teens, with the attitude and the melodrama… i feared i would bring out the worst in her.

fortunately for me, my second son was born, our family made complete, and my role of raising boys undisturbed. i was prepared for this.

what i wasn’t prepared for was that my eldest, soon after he turned three, would begin to emulate the worst of what i had to offer my parents when i was an adolescent: oppositional and insolent complete with deep sighs, eye rolls, back talk, door slamming, and a whole host of other personality disordered behaviour.

don’t laugh, it’s no joke.

one day he was a momma lovin’, good listening, harmony seeking, and amicable little man. the next day, boom! the threenager.

dun-dun-dunnnn.

stay tuned, i’m gonna muster up some courage and break down the good, bad, and ugly for you (if my therapist thinks i’m ready!).

January 11, 2013

thru the looking glass: a new year, a renewed optimism

things look different from a distance. like my three year old son, the other day. i was sat on my sister in law’s couch, tense and pulsing with irritation, my body processing the challenge that parenting him has been as of late, including that morning, and he was outside, on their 3rd floor apartment balcony.

prior, he was restless and bored, also pulsating, i suppose, and had asked to go outside. in our life, most is made better by fresh air and i was relieved he was making a good choice, a seemingly infrequent event these days. my sister in law accompanied him and i remained inside, indulging in an opportunity to be child free while he was occupied in play and our baby slept.

as i sat facing the window while conversing however, there, over my brother in law’s broad shoulder, was my slight little soul, curiously exploring helicopter seeds, rushing about gathering them, and throwing them through the rails with glee. he looked so innocent, so delighted, so unrestrained, so carefree, and so familiar that i found my annoyance quickly evaporated, making room for an affectionate smile for the son he used to be and apparently, still was.

being removed and being witness to his positive play begged the question: what and who is different, allowing room for him to behave this way?

it hurts to think that it might be my contribution to our dynamic, or his little brother’s, that is negatively spinning my son and resulting in a child i can’t always appreciate, or tolerate, even, but it’s likely true. it’s doubtful that he woke up that day, or the multiple days preceding the whimsical deck day and thought: now that i have a little brother, i’m going to be difficult.  it’s much more plausible that when i move, he moves.

perhaps he isn’t even ‘being’ challenging as so much as that i am challenged, and our life has been challenged, and he, like me, is trying to make sense of it all- but his high energy and low maturity are getting in his way.

i have to remember that just because he can put on his own shoes and zip up his own coat and brush his own teeth and spread his own peanut butter that he is still so little and that, inside his little self, his big sensitive heart is still playing the leading role. i have to look closely, at his eyes, in particular, and be in tune with his vulnerability and fear, and recognize when the contagion effect has rendered him shaken, in response to me having been.

it’s my job to be bigger then my fatigue and impulse, and my job to support him learn and stay confident as he experiments with boundaries, limits, and behaviour. it’s evident that with the company of an adult he trusts and who he can relax with, that his best is still possible.

this is what new years and resolutions are about. it’s about being fresh, it’s about being our best. and so, moving forward, i will take this perspective along: he, released and rosy-cheeked, and me, noticing.

of all the goals i have for this upcoming year, none take precedent over re-establishing some harmony in our home and some grace in my parenting. i resolve to be someone he can be his best around. i will make the effort to be my best, by disciplining myself first.

wish me luck. as always, my best wishes to you on your journey, as well. happy new year.