the should-be’s

The first coating of snow fell while we slept last night.  Pft…pft…pft…pft…. and everything is different.  I am sure the snow suits will be short-lived, the sun is bright and strong and by afternoon it will just be a crispy memory.

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But come again it will…

Peeling off wet layers from little chubby boys and packing them tightly in fluffy ones is no easy task.  In fact it is outright tricky.  Last year my hopes were surrounded by a vision of both boys joyfully zipping up their own suits and squeezing on their own little mittens this year.. but alas so far this is not the case.  My sweet cherub of a three-year old just doesn’t wanna.  Similar to he just doesn’t wanna go outside, or doesn’t wanna eat eggs, or doesn’t wanna sleep, or doesn’t wanna do about a million things that seemingly must occur during the day.  (I can hear my dear folks chiming in right now with memories of a particular “Princess I-no-wanna” as I was once called…so be it – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

On an outing the other day, my little drag his feet through any transition boy began showing signs of an impending tantrum.  I could hear him hollering from deep inside the bear cave at the science museum, a tiny crevice of a spot in which giant pregnant me has literally been stuck inside, but somehow there is always about 10 toddlers hanging out in there.  I could tell his big brother was taking cover as to avoid any possible blows.  I reached in and found his dimpled ankles and with baby flailing under my arm I tugged him out.  Lots of kicks, lots of angry three-year old accusations and growls, and lots of misplaced frustration came wailing out of that cave as he clawed the rug.  I handed off the baby to the nearest mom (this is what all parents with three wild boys do right?  right?) and wrestled him out of the gated section in attempts to cool him off.  He yelled and flailed some more and then a friend tried to help and really it was just the thing he needed because with one big huge, “ONLY MY MOMMY!!!!” he burst into tears and crumpled like a dirty tissue.  Pooled around my feet he held on and cried out.  I scooped up the giant heap at my ankles and held on tight whispering all the coo’s of motherhood into his sweaty little ear.  Truth be told, I knew he had felt some sort of injustice.  It just isn’t him to behave this way anywhere but home (and believe me he takes advantage of the comforts of that location).  It turns out he had been blocked from the exit and it made him sad, and sad turns to mad so quickly when you are human and this is what happened.  I was glad I knew his suchness.

Had this been his older brother at three, I would have thought of what he should be.  I would have been embarrassed.  I wouldn’t have known this just is.  I would have been angry too.  Somehow three is easier this time around.

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At times I beat myself up about what I didn’t know when Miles was three, and I am quite sure this type of figuring out will continue on down the road.  But sometimes, like this particular day, I just keep going; I don’t even bat my eyes.

Shouldn’t we give ourselves the same grace as we do our children?  

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Now out we go to enjoy the seasons first snow.

3 thoughts on “the should-be’s

  1. Your words were exactly what I needed to hear this morning! Thank you for your honesty and open (always beautiful) description of your story raising boys. It is such an amazing journal of their childhood, and such a touchstone for parents on a similar journey.

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