Saturday, February 11, 2017

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

You ate worms.  You laughed about doing so too.  We were at a restaurant and it started with you making a LOUD fart.  I thought it was Daddy; it was that loud.  You denied it at first, but then admitted it was you.  Our food came and Daddy said, "EWWWW, don't eat the worm!"  You delighted in doing so, when normally you wouldn't touch spaghetti.  Farts and worms, the life of a mommy with a boy.  Such was our Italian night out at Cafe Latte Da.

Your teacher spoke with mommy about a question I had just recently, "I think he is going to be left-handed.  His grip is stronger in his left hand and he writes better with his left hand.  I'm going to guide him more towards the left, but I'm not pushing him.  I spoke with Carrie (the assistant teacher) and she agrees with me."  We spoke for a little while outside of your classroom.

When I walked into the room, you jumped out of the sleep mat and ran to me, "Mommy! Mommy!"  I later asked if you took a nap at all.  You replied, "No.  I heard your soft talking to the teacher and I knew you were there.  Then I saw you and jumped up!  I was happy!"

Since that conversation, your teacher has suggested using play dough and soft balls to squeeze in order to strengthen your hands.  You love play dough, so that won't be a difficult thing to incorporate more into your play time.

Another day when Mommy picked you up from school, I asked the standard, "How did Gregory do today?"  Your teacher said the same reply, "He did great.  He always does great!"  But then she added, "He is a good kid."  I said, "Aw, thank you."  But then she continued, "No, I mean, he REALLY wants to do good.  Not just that he tries, but he truly wants to do the right thing."  That made me so happy to hear!

You love apples in the morning, especially when you get to use the peel and core machine.  You crank away at the machine and we all enjoy the spiral slices.  One morning you said, "Oh, this one has seeds on it."  You took the seeds off, then you and Daddy planted the seeds in the garden.

We asked you what seeds need to grow.  You jumped up and down, "Sun and rain and LOVE!"

Every day you want to go outside and look for the apple tree to grow.  We don't think the seeds from the apples will take.  Instead, Daddy bought a blueberry and grape plant (looks more like a stick).  Daddy said, "We have to work in the backyard garden."  You said, "The backyard garden is a terrible, terrible mess!"  I had to laugh, because you are correct.  The weeds are horrible.  Hopefully the plants will survive as well as the weeds seem to....

You and Daddy also planted carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and flowers in small pods.  The carrots are already taking off and we'll soon have to put them in the ground.  It's great to see your enthusiasm in growing things!  When I see your eagerness to water the plants and sing to them, I think, "Maw Maw would be so happy."  Your great-grandmother used to grow a lot of veggies and flowers.  She can't keep up with her gardens now, but they used to be amazing.  Maybe you'll have her green-thumb gene.

A few nights ago you woke up sobbing.  You had a nightmare where you heard Mommy saying, "Hurry, hurry, get into the car."  But you didn't and the car left without you.  You cried as you shared the dream with me.  Your tears broke my heart.  I held you until you calmed down, "Mommy is right here.  I'm right here."  You fell back to sleep, but I stayed up... thinking about the nightmare I had a few nights ago.

I dreamt that the three of us, you, Mommy and Daddy, went to a party.  A lot of people were at the party that we didn't know.  You ran and we couldn't find you.  We called out your name and we ran out of the house, running down the streets.  I saw two adults with two kids and realized that you were one of the kids.  The kidnappers had dressed you in girl's clothing so nobody would look for you.  Daddy and Mommy took off towards you, praying we could get to you before you got into the car.  I woke up at that time, terrified and had to check that you were okay. I never had dreams like this until I became a parent.  It's the scariest thing.

From nightmares to scary nights.  After your bath, Daddy wrapped you in a towel and picked you up. He tripped on the bottom of the towel and the two of you fell.  Your mouth got hurt - inside the upper and lower lip where your teeth must have gashed.  Your mouth was bleeding so much it scared the heck out of me.  I had to beg you to swish water in your mouth to clean it out and see where the blood was coming from.  You didn't like seeing the blood.  Thankfully, the bleeding stopped and we determined a trip to the hospital was not needed.

That said, Mommy asked Oma and Opa to set up a doctor's appointment for the next day, just to be on the safe side.  I figured the doctor would recommend an antibiotic, because it's not like there's an ointment I can put on a wound... this is inside your mouth.  Sure enough, the doctor gave a prescription, also said soft food for a couple of days and that you might bruise on your back and leg, because you were sore there.  But nothing sprained or broken and your teeth are okay.  I didn't sleep at all last night.  I gave you Tylenol and you allowed me to put a cool small towel on your lip for the swelling.  Then we talked for a while so I could know that you were okay... you slept and I watched over.  Things can happen so quickly.

You are so precious, my sweet son.  When you get hurt, it leaves a scar on my heart.  Mommy wants to wrap you up in a bubble to protect you.  People say that can't be done, but just recently this was proven wrong.  We went to a festival where there was an air ball that you got into and walked and spun around on water.  You were afraid at first to get into it, but warmed up to the idea later.  I was proud of you to overcome your fears and try something new.

It was so much fun that you cried when it was time to get out of the bubble.  It was pretty expensive, so we couldn't afford for you to go in there again.  But how wonderful that you did it!  Now.... if I could buy one and just keep you wrapped up safe....

This past week, Oma and Opa picked you up from school a lot, while Mommy worked longer hours for billing time.  Oma taught you how to play "go fish" and "battle" with cards.  You know what the King, Queen, Jack and Ace cards look like and it's great for number recognition.  Playing is fun, but losing... eh, not so good.  When you lost to Opa, you gave him a fierce scowl.  Oma turned it into a game (great redirection), "Who can make the angriest face?  the saddest face?  the funniest face?"  She video'd it and you would then say, "Let me see the video!"  I have to say, those videos are hysterical!

I thought you would be spending an afternoon with Oma this past Friday, because Mommy and Daddy had to do taxes.  You said that you would be a good boy and that you wanted to come with us. Then you said, "Remember when I went there and I broke the toy?"  The memory came flooding back.  You broke one of the CPA's grandkids' toys.  Wow.  You remembered this, even before going to the CPA's house!

When we arrived for taxes, Lynn asked if you wanted to watch cartoons.  That's a given!  He turned on the TV and you looked around and asked, "Where can I sit?"  Lynn said it was up to you, any place.  Daddy and Mommy settled in to do our taxes.  I shared how you remembered about the broken toy.  Daddy and Lynn had the same reaction, "Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about that!"  Between numbers, we talked about food and lobster.  Within seconds, you came into the room with a hamburger pillow, which you thought was neat.  Lynn said, "Interesting that we are talking about food and he comes in with the hamburger pillow."

As we signed the paperwork and checked once again on how you were doing, Lynn said, "You have a really good kid.  Ya'll are doing a great job."  Aw, that's so sweet.  We're blessed with you, Gregory.  Oh now, don't let that get to your head.  When you don't get what you want or when you don't win at a game, you have a temper to you.  Also, when you aren't feeling well, you tend to get snappy until we realize you aren't feeling well.  But these times aren't your dominant personality.

Such as today, when we went to the St. Christopher Boy Scout Parade.  You had a blast.  Laughing, smiling, catching beads and stuffed animals and toys.  One boy threw a stuffed football to you, but you missed.  The boy went chasing after the football before another child could take the football that was meant for you and the boy handed it to you.  After he rejoined the parade route, we realized it was a little girl who was going to get the football that you missed... You gave it to her.  That was so awesome.  You didn't fuss about giving up the football, which by the way, you really love playing football with Daddy.  You gave the toy to the girl willingly and with kindness.

You listen when we don't realize it and you pick up on humor so quickly.  The other day we were watching a movie and the character said something funny with a combination of words.  We both laughed.  Later that day, you used the same words, but with things you like, "I like peanut butter and Toy Story.  Don't judge me."  You had the attitude and all.  I busted out laughing.

Daddy also shared this on Facebook:

My (almost) 4 year old son just told me "You're an acquired taste". And I am like... WHERE DO YOU GET THIS FROM??

You use things at the right time, so it's not just being a parrot.

How much of your childhood will you remember?  You remembered something from last year when we did taxes.  How much will stay with you?  The good things, I hope.  I pray we can create many happy, childhood memories for you - from learning at school and making new friends to walking in air balls and catching beads.  Childhood should be about joyful times and creating good character.  I hope you will think we're good parents.  The future will hold times of you thinking you know it all and will fight us... but in the long run... I pray you know you are loved.  I pray you will find smiles when you think back on your childhood.

Love Always,

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