The minute I heard the basketball hit the pavement, I made a dart for the kitchen door. The hubs was supposedly taking out the trash but I knew better…he was going to try and get in a few “hoops” and I wanted in. We were out for only 5 minutes when I heard the door open….
“wait??!! What??!!! I’m playing!!!”…..said DDD.
“nope…go get ready for bed. It’s just your mom and I.”
And with that…I heard the door shut…and minutes later, the living room window open.
“Wow, dad…looks like you should just hand the ball to mom!”
“Ouch, mom…I thought you said that was your “money shot”!
“Seriously…..you old people are terrible.”
The child is a serious heckler…but…I gotta forgive him because it’s in his genes. Few things make my heart flutter like the hubs when he gets in a great “one liner”…and knows it. And DDD is no different. As soon as he delivers a good liner, he throws his head back and explosive laughter ensues.
I had to duck behind the garage door so I could bend over, I was laughing so hard at some of his comments to us.
This kid….he is really one of a kind.
I am often asked what it is like to be raising a son with four girls. I’m not really sure how to answer that. A few words come to mind….amazing…hysterical….joyfilled…..annoying…exhausting….just to name a few. I guess half of the battle is realizing that he’s totally different than each of this sisters down to even his biological makeup. And with that….he has to be parented differently.
Stay with me….I am sure it will get clearer.
My girls are the eggs. Their feelings are fragile. I never know what will throw them into tears or some kind of drama. They need to be cuddled and comforted. They want to be hugged and protected. They like to be “sat on” by the momma hen….cared for and comforted. They can’t seem to get close enough and yet they always need that caring and sensitive hand to reach out to them. Small criticisms about the state of their hair can cause them to burst into tears, and one loving complement on their “stylish” outfit can make their day. Even the biggest tomboy needs the reassurance of mom and dad.
Then there’s my rock. He wants to knock stuff off the shelves and be thrown to break stuff. He has rough edges and can be too rough without knowing it. He’s rough and yet steady. He is the first object you pick up to defend yourself and the annoying object in your shoe causing you discomfort. There is a reason that boys love to “skip rocks” at the creek…..
I will never forget when DDD was a toddler. He brought so much imagination and pretend play to our house. Sweet Pea watched in awe as her “broom” became a toy horse…and her pots and pans from the kitchen became perfect hats for his head. She was memorized by his ability to find everything fun. He would often sit and stare at the wall in our hallway…..and she could be found sitting next to him, knowing that if he found it fun…than it was.
He is the “master fort builder” in these parts and his games leave little to be imagined. He is the ultimate “spy” as he has covert spies helping him all the time.
For the past few years, he has begged us for a brother…a gift we have not yet been able to give him. However, in the way that he always has made lemonade out of lemons, he is the ultimate “big brother” cousin to all his little cousins. He is constantly looking out for them and always ready and willing for the next fun thing to play. He can be found holding a “shot gun” and wearing a Daniel Boone hat one minute, and cuddling with a young cousin on the couch the next.
So…how do I handle life with a “rock”….well….I can only offer 9 years experience, but here is what I have found to be successful:
- Most attitudes/or personality difficulties are a phase. However difficult, he likes to know when he has been “impressive” or a “huge help”. I grab him his favorite treat for a helpful week or give him extra kindle or TV time.
- I wrestle him….as often as possible….. (my shoulders are often sore from him hanging on them, and my legs bruised)
- I pin him down at nighttime to sneak in a kiss (because I know he wants one but fights me for it)
- I sneak up on him to capture cool moments on video…because I know he will want to view them later.
- I let him “stall” and hug me ten times at bedtime so he can watch the last 10 minutes of a show, because I need those hugs more than he does and there will come a time when they are not there….
- I memorize lyrics to songs that he loves so I can sing louder than him and he can learn the words…..
- I DVR his favorite shows and quietly watch while he does…so I can ask him questions about his favorite characters.
- I steal the ball from him while he is shooting hoops so he knows that I want to spend time with him.
- I look up jokes on the internet so I can “slam him” but really…I’m just providing him with good material….
- I sign him up for engineering or science classes that play on his strengths of creativity and building.
Most of all, I am constantly seeking guidance from the Lord in how to love this kid with all I have. Some days are tough, but he’s a clown and I can get all “I’m on a mission and your antics are driving me batty” and some days I just want to put him in my pocket to entertain me all day.
My prayer is that I can continue to mold him into the man that God envisions. That, being surrounded by women that love him, he may truly be a man that loves and respects women.
That by seeking the man whom his dad is…he might seek that same Godly character for his life.