“When I’m an adult”

The other day, I picked up Josh from school. On the way to the car, all of a sudden he remembered something important to tell me. He said, “Hey, mommy, did you know that Ms. Hales and her mommy live in two different houses?” Ms. Hales is Josh’s teacher.

I said, “Yeah, that’s because Ms. Hales is an adult. Most adults don’t live with their mommies.”

Josh was surprised that I wasn’t surprised. He said, “But they don’t live together!”

I said, “I know. When you’re an adult, you probably won’t live with mommy either.”

His tone changed. He said sadly, “Oh. I’ll really miss you when I’m an adult.”

I laughed and said, “Hey, when you’re an adult, and if you want to live with me, that’s totally fine with me.”

He got happy again, and said, “Ok! I’ll live with you!”

That’s settled. I’m going to hold him to this.Josh_

Update on Josh learning to ski

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about Josh’s first skiing lesson and my mommy fail. (Anita, thank you for reminding me that refusing my son’s pizza request will turn him into a serial killer.) Josh has since finished his series for 4-session camp at Cypress, and has not turned into a serial killer. Yet.

When we were in Whistler this week, he requested that I take him skiing.(!!!)

Of course I was happy to oblige, and took him up the chair lift before he could change his mind. I also told him how awesome skiing is, because you get to eat a special skier meal. He got chicken strips, fries, juice and a chocolate pudding–things that are special treats at home–all at once. He was pretty stoked.

I am not ashamed of bribing for enthusiasm.

We spent two days on the hill, and he was improving by the hour. By the end of the second day, there were sections on the hill where I couldn’t catch up to him.




Does everyone else have this figured out?

Lately, a few incidents made me question my parenting choices, and really made me admit (again) that I don’t have my shit together.

This week, Josh brought home his very first report card from school. While I think of my baby as this smart and intelligent little being, his report card was mostly “meet expectations”. That, to me, translated to “average”. Whether that is the correct translation or not, it was an awakening moment for me to see someone else’s perspective of him.

We read books at home with Josh on a daily basis since he was a baby, hoping to cultivate a fun learning environment. But we haven’t done anything to push Josh to read and write on his own beyond the pace given at school.

I keep thinking that I’ve been pushed so hard academically since a young age, that it really took the joy out of learning. Would I be a different person if I had a carefree childhood without going to Kumon math and tutoring sessions everyday of the week? But if I never had all that pressure, would I have done any better or worse with my life?

Yesterday, Josh had his first skiing lesson. I dropped him and his friend off, then went to my own humbling skiing lesson. I went back to pick up Josh and his friend from their lesson 3 hours later. It had snowed heavily the entire 3 hours. I was tired and cold, and I just wanted to get home. Josh said in a whiney voice, “I want pizza.” I said, first, stop whining, and second, no, we have snacks in the car and we’re going home. He bursted into a full on wail.

I was on auto-terrible-mommy-pilot mode. I told him to take a deep breath, and we’re going home. Zero sympathy for the fact that he had a rough time learning to ski, zero love for his red and frozen hands and likely empty stomach. Instead of taking a breath like I asked him to, he cried harder. He continued to cry, with tears running down his red cheeks and snot running down his nose, lips, and down his chin.

In that moment, I felt like I was caught in a dilemma that tested me. On one hand, I wanted to kneel down and give him a big hug and make all the shitty-ness go away. On the other hand, I wanted him to toughen up and suck it up. Learning things can be hard, but that’s just life. I learned to snowboard by spending countless hours on my butt, being cold and miserable. Nothing came easy and nobody coddled me. But is that really how I want my son to feel?

I have no strategies planned out for raising these kids. I just know that I want the world for them, but I don’t want them to feel some of the shitty-ness I felt. So as I sit here, starring at the cursor blink on my screen, trying to figure out what I’m trying to write, I realized all over again that I don’t have my parenting shit together.

Josh turns five

Dear Joshie,

You turned five this past weekend, despite how much I tried to convince you to stay at four. You didn’t think it was funny to remain small.

On your birthday, we surprised you with a trip to Legoland. I will always remember how excited you got when you found out where we were going. I love how quick you are to show your feelings and wear your heart on your sleeve.

You inspire me with your love and enthusiasm for life. You bounce out of bed every morning, with a positive attitude about whatever it is to come. You are cheery from the moment you open your eyes. Your enthusiasm is inspiring, and infectious. You always say hello to all our neighbors in the elevator, putting me to shame for being quiet. You have no problem striking up a conversation with any kid or adult at the park. You believe in yourself and your values, and you are never ashamed of sharing your thoughts. You let your tears freely flow when your feelings are hurt. You’re not scared of opening yourself up to share the hurt.

Seriously, Josh, I wish I can be more like you.

You’re at such a fun age right now, where you still think I’m pretty cool and you still want to hang out with me. Since you started school, I’ve been trying to be more conscientious about holding your hand or kissing you, especially when I drop you off at school. Whenever I ask you, “Can I hold your hand?” or “Can I kiss you?”, you always say with a smile, “Yes, you can hold my hand or kiss me anytime you want, Mommy!” And I will always treasure that video of you saying, “I love you, Mommy. I am going to marry you,” for the rest of my life. I know the good days won’t last forever, but I am so grateful for the time we have right now.

You love coming to my office with me on the weekends. You love going to run errands with me. You love going for a bike ride or go play at the park. You absolutely love going to parties or visiting with friends. You are a social animal.

During this past year, you have learned how to ride a bike. You love your swimming lessons. You love your kindergarten and the new friends you’ve made. You are learning to deal with conflicts at school, and slowly learning to give people their space. I look forward to watching you grow into the little man you’re becoming.

Being your mommy is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me. Thank you for being my inspiration and my joy. I love you with all of my heart. Happy birthday, Josh. I wish you all the joy in the world.