Today is my son’s sixth birthday. Yesterday he just graduated kindergarten. He wasn’t best in his class, but you must realize that there was only one person in class younger than him, and her birthday only a week away. Also realize that he spent the first six months of the year with an undiagnosed condition, ADHD. In young children it can be difficult to tell the difference between an active child and an ADHD child, so it took a while for us to think he may need additional help.
At his graduation ceremony, I felt so proud of Toby – in the past two weeks I’ve gone to two events where Toby participated, and unlike our first forays into his stage career, he was able to be still, be quiet, and be respectful. Honestly, more than reading or writing, being respectful is a big focus for me. My parents raised me to be respectful, Luke’s parents raised him to be respectful, and Toby’s in line for the same education.
It’s important to remember that it’s not the little guy’s fault. It’s just a part of who he is. We make sure he knows that.
Toby is such an amazing kid; I don’t even know where to start. He’s smart, and very observant. You can’t get much past him. His laugh is infectious and he’s such a loving child. He knows all the kids and breezes through social situations that would have *paralyzed* me at his age. Every teacher seems to know Toby, and all of them seem to hold him with genuine affection.
It’s important to mention how great Luke is with Toby, too. Just this morning Luke ran up the stairs singing the opening to Phineas and Ferb. “There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation..” I heard them giggling while I prepared lunch for the day.
Toby’s got his struggles too, but they’re kid sized. He recently got busted for buying breakfasts at school (he’s only supposed to buy lunches). He did it so he could have the sugar cereals we won’t let him eat at home. He tried to lie his way out of it, and then was hysterical when he realized he was busted. Later, though, he was so contrite, and very sorry, and almost broke my heart with how badly he felt. Now, as a parent, I don’t care about him having cereal, or spending a buck at school in the morning. I wasn’t thrilled that they were sugar cereals because sugar spikes his ADHD, and that makes his time at school more challenging for him and his teachers. But at the end of the day, I asked him not to do it, and he chose to sneak around behind my back and do it, and that needed to be addressed. When we’re kids we all do it, we all test our parents. It is the vengeance of our parents that someday we have to say, “You can’t do that.” to a defiant small one.
Being a parent is a very personal, individual choice. It’s as large of a deal as you can make. Some things you don’t get to decide. What gender you’re born with, or what ethnic background you come from. Being a parent is something you get to choose, even if you choose it by not being careful. I would never tell another person that they should have a child. But I will happily tell you how cool my kid is, and how proud I am, and how much I’ve learned and changed since I’ve had him.
Six years ago my son entered the world, and sneezed. He didn’t cry, but looked around at the world with enormous, gorgeous eyes and looked pink and perfect. I fell in love with him and every day I fall in love again. I’m a happy mom, enjoying a special day.