Last night was a typical evening in my house. Todd was working, so I fed the kids, picked up the kitchen, and then took the kids outside. We played on the driveway, until J suggested we take a walk. I loaded up L in the stroller, J mounted her bike, and H grabbed his Spiderman scooter.
We started to walk down our normal path. Normally, I walk behind J and H walking or riding. They start down, but constantly check to see how far back I am and then stop and wait.
Well, this peaceful routine took an unexpected turn tonight. We left the house and started down the sidewalk. H was in front and started to go fast on his scooter and pulled ahead of the “pack”.
“H, slow down”. I said calmly. No big deal. He does this all the time. He’ll turn around, see where we are and stop.
But, he didn’t. Instead of listening to me, he started to go faster…and faster...and faster yet. At the bottom of our hill is a very busy intersection so I was scared when H kept pushing faster. I sealed my spot yet again as the neighborhood crazy as I started to yell louder for him to stop, while starting to run with the stroller.
“H, STOP!”. I yelled.
He got so far ahead of me I could hardly see him. I was terrified as I knew he was headed for the very busy intersection. My heart was racing (probably the fact that I was now sprinting behind my stroller wasn’t helping). I kept yelling to him to stop...and he kept ignoring.
Suddenly, he stopped at the end of the street. One upset, ignored, crazy-yelling mother finally caught up with the new found Dale Earnhardt of Scooter riding.
Now I’m not telling this story just because H disobeyed me, tested my patience, or ignored me…because honestly if I wrote about everytime one of these things happened well, let’s just say we’d have to change the name of the blog to something like “I have a 3 year old boy…please send help!” because I would write about that all the time! H is at the stage where he seeks his independence all the time. He pushes the boundaries, tests his father and I. Yes, we are smack dab in the middle of the “I can do it myself”, “No I don’t wanna” stage.
What happened later that evening, however, was something worth blogging about. After H came home, reluctantly turned over his scooter that I think he knew he’d be grounded from for awhile, angrily took his time out, took a bath, ate a snack, watched his beloved Monster Trucks it was time for bed. We did our standard routine… Potty, Brush Teeth, Story Book, Tuck in, Lullaby, Prayers, Hugs and kisses, Good-night…oh wait one more kiss. But instead of heading out of the room before he could ask for “one more story”, I sat by his bed for a minute.
“H, you scared me tonight. You need to listen to Mommy when I tell you to stop. You could have been hurt, could have been hit by a car. I couldn’t catch you and that really scared me”.
H looked at me with his sky blue eyes, almost puzzled in a way, clearly giving me a “Who me?? Couldn’t be” sort of look. I expected to hear his classic “I surrender” comment of “Okay Mommy”, but I didn’t. Instead, H looked me in the eyes, inched closer to me on the pillow and said…
“Just run faster Mommy.”
I looked at my little boy, growing up before my eyes, and chuckled a bit. I walked downstairs to start catching up with some scrapbooking. I couldn’t get his line out of my mind. I started to look back at some old baby pictures of H…I couldn’t believe how fast he has grown.
Now I’m part of the M.O.B. (mother of boy) so having a hard time with my sons growing up is par for the course for me. For those of you who have girls only, let me explain: Mothers have a harder time dealing with the fact their sons are growing up than their daughters. We get a realization, after years of watching our husbands and brothers, that our time with our sons is more “limited” than with our daughters. With girls you know they will always be with you forever, fighting with you…probably, but there none the less. Girls get married, start their lives, but always seem to stick close to their mothers regardless of who or what enter their lives. Boys are different. They grow, get married, and suddenly Mom takes a back seat to their wives, their lives, their adventures. The baby boy who idolized you now has to be reminded by his wife to send a Mother’s Day card. Don’t believe me? Come on even the Bible tells us that, a man shall leave his MOTHER but a woman just needs to leave her home (for as we all know her Mother will come with her)!
Before I know it H (and L for that matter) are going to get to the stage where riding down the end of the street without me will be the least of my concerns. My little baby that never left my side is now running fast away from me.
But, it’s amazing how much wisdom can lie in the mind of a child. H is right of course. As he grows, he won’t wait for me, he won’t stop growing, stop challenging me, stop seeking his independence. He’s exactly right, I can’t stop him from growing up. Whether I want to or not (and you know for me it’s NOT), I’m going to have to let him “run”. Yelling down the street, so-to-speak, isn’t going to stop him. Nope, he’s only going to get faster, only going to go farther, only going to turn his head to look to see if I am there less and less.