Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Lesson in Goodness

I rarely post links to other blogs, but read a blog post this morning that absolutely blew my mind with truth and honesty and absolute goodness.

This Daddy blogger, Dan,  wrote from his heart, imploring other fathers to step up and be a hero to their child(ren). But really? He spoke to every parent in the world, including me, urging us all to do better.

Begging us to BE better.

Our children deserve our best, gifts that they are.

Here is Dan being wise: You Just Broke Your Child

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Matthew is FIVE!

Darling Matthew,

Daddy and sat together after you and Luke had fallen asleep. I turned to Daddy and said, "We have a five-year-old son."
"How'd that happen?"
"You blinked."

It's true. I blinked and suddenly, instead of a tiny fire-haired baby, I have a swift and fleet-footed little boy, aching to be set free. A son who can cross the road all by himself and who now wants privacy in the bathroom. A not-so-little boy who more often, it seems, seeks a quiet space in which to dream big dreams.

Where once sat a chortling toddler, eagerly awaiting the next spoonful of food, now sits a well-mannered boy of five who uses a fork and knife with ease and can clear his own plate and cup without having to be reminded. The same boy who once struggled to zip up his own coat now happily gets himself and his brother dressed most mornings and straps them both safely into car seats.

You amaze me, son. Every day, you show me who I want to be.

I want to be like you - the child who runs ahead to make sure that the younger kids wait safely at the corner before crossing. The one who utters, "I'm so proud of you, Lukey! Well done!" easily, and often. The silly, chattering, fort-making maniac who spends ages patiently stacking pillows only to have to start all over again, because a lcertain ittle brother knocked it all down.

I love your drawings that paper the fridge and most available wall space - how they've morphed from scratches on a page to real, true and wonderfully recognizable portraits of our lives together. You. Luke. Me. Daddy. With balloons and crazy hair, always on a sunny day, always smiling.

I love how you greet each day as if it's the best day of your life. How every morning we still snuggle, even it's only for a minute because these days there are cars to be played with and imaginary villians to be fought before breakfast. I even secretly love how, like Daddy, you cannot pass any reflective surface without gazing at your self and pulling a funny face.

I love how well you've taken to swimming lessons, when it doesn't seem so long ago that bath time filled you with terror - you used to believe that you'd be sucked down the drain with the bathwater. Nowadays, only you can assure your little brother that he won't fit down there, either. There is a gentleness to you that I do not possess, though I wish I did. Thank you for showing me every day that there is another way and that sometimes, your way is best.

Thank you for loving the yellow house by the river as much as I do and for generously offering to let me live there with you when you are a grown up. Thank you for saving your pocket money so that you can one day buy a truck and take your grandparents for a ride. Yours is a kind and generous heart, Matthew and the world is lucky, SO lucky to have you in it.

I am luckier still, because five years ago, you chose me to be your Mummy. I look forward to the next five, striving to be just. like. you. My very heart.

Happy Birthday, Matthew.

I love you.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Five Things...

Matthew will turn 5 at the end of this month. To avoid thinking about how swiftly these years have whooshed by, I will share five recent conversational tidbits with my fiery firstborn:

1.  On Being Cool

Matthew: "Mummy, can I have a mohawk?"
Me: "No."
Matthew: "Mummy, there's this kid in my school with a mohawk and he's so cool. I want a mohawk, too. Can I?"
Me: "No."
Matthew: "You never let me do anything cool."
Me: "I know. I'm just cool like that."

2. On Being (Almost) Five

Matthew: I'm really gonna miss my guckies when I'm five, Mummy.
Me: Well, yes, you probably will. But you'll get used to it.
Matthew: Are you sure?
Me: I'm sure. Mummy sucked her thumb when she was a little girl and I was sad for a bit when I stopped*, but I got used to it.
Matthew: Guckies aren't the same as thumbs, Mummy.
Me: True, but the feeling you get from sucking on them is.
Matthew: Did your thumb taste like spray, Mummy?
Me: Huh?
Matthew: Did your thumb taste like cleaning spray?
Me: Why would it taste like cleaning spray?
Matthew: Because you clean so much.

* I was 11. There. I admit it. And it was HARD, damn it. *

3. On Being

Matthew: Mummy, why is the sky in space so black?
Me: Uh...well, it's because the black bits have no light.
Matthew: What about the stars?
Me: Well, the stars are SUPER bright because the black bit is so black. So they sort of...well, they help each other be better - the black gets blacker because of the white stars and the stars shine brighter because of the black.
Matthew: when I help Luke brush his teeth and he helps me find my shoes?
Me: Exactly.

4. On Life and Death

Matthew: Mummy, will Granny and Haha and Nanny and Papa still be alive when Luke and I are teenagers?
Me: Well, I sure hope so, Matthew. I know they'd love it, too.
Matthew: It's not far away, right Mummy?
Me: Nope. Not far away now. What makes you ask?
Matthew: You said that Luke and I could buy a  truck when we're teenagers and I wanted to take Granny and Haha and Nanny and Papa for a ride in it.
Me: That's lovely Matthew, to be thinking of them so kindly.
Matthew: Yeah. I'm gonna get a Honda Truck. Or maybe a Dodge Ram, like Papa. I like the smell of it when it's going.

5. On Doing the Right Thing

Matthew: Mummy! That car just parked in the wrong spot!
Me: What do you mean, the wrong spot?
Matthew: He parked in the handercapp-ed spot, Mummy but he doesn't have a special sign in his window like you said he should. That's why we can't park there, you said. You said it's for people who have trouble walking from far away.
Me: I did and you're right, Matthew. That man doesn't have a handicapped sticker on his car. Let's wait and see if maybe his hip or leg are hurting him though. Maybe that's why he parked there, even though he doesn't usually have trouble walking from far away. Let's wait here and see, ok?
Matthew: Mummy! That man can walk. He's NAUGHTY, Mummy! Go tell him!
Me: You want me to tell him that he's naughty for parking there?
Matthew: YES!
Me: You wanna come with me?
Matthew: I'll come with you, Mummy.

Me to Man: Sir? Just having a little lesson in ethics here. My son has been taught that only people who have a special sign in their window can park in the handicapped spot and he noticed that you don't have one. We thought that maybe you'd parked here because your leg is hurting you? (This last in pleading tone, as in, "Please, plllleasssee say your back hurts or something. Anything!")
Man: My leg is fine. I'm in a hurry, that's all. Is that ok with you, little man?
Matthew: Shakes head, shifting behind my right leg. No.
Man: Oh, well, eh? (Hops in truck, drives away)
Matthew: He's a naughty man, right Mummy?
Me: Well, it was naughty of him to have parked here when he didn't really need it, that's for sure.
Matthew: Will God give him a time-out, Mummy?
Me: I don't know, Matthew. But I have a feeling that he won't be parking in a handicapped spot again without thinking of you.