I think I've created a monster.
For months in the beginning while I held my new born son in my arms and gazed at his tiny sleeping face and the adorable swirl of hair on his forehead (he has two very strong cowlicks) I dreamed about and contemplated so many things about him. I didn't know what his personality would be like. Gosh, I didn't even know what he'd look like a few months down the road. I couldn't imagine what his little voice would sound like when he first started to talk. But as a new mom I thought about all these things and many others. I knew there were a few things that I really wanted to teach this little guy. One such thing was an appreciation for the little things. I wasn't sure how I would go about teaching him this outlook on life but I knew I needed to.
I didn't want to raise a kid that was always thinking about stuff; about his next new toy or video game. I wanted my boy to enjoy the world he lives in and to make the most out of what's right here. We spend a good deal of time together, he's sort of my shadow. We both enjoy being outside and I am sort of obnoxious about pointing things out to him and asking him questions. "Buddy, do you see the bunny under that bush over there? Can you hear that noise (as a bird sings off in the distance)? What do you think that noise is? Oooh, come here and look what I found. Isn't this bug neat? How many different color flowers do you see? Do you know what kind of flower that is?" I mean I'm relentless but these constant observations are all done while playing a sport, or digging in the yard, or whatever else we might be doing.
Two times this week we attempted a bike ride around the block, once with his little bike and once with the big wheel. Both times he rode and I walked slower then I have ever walked in my entire life. Actually I don't think it's possible for a kid to ride any slower than he did either. My child wanted to "ride his bike around the block" but he had to stop and look at every single ant hill he passed. "Mom, look at them running around their home." He found a few really great sticks that he needed to stop and pick up and play with. He needed to point out at least four different robins that we saw flying by us. Of course he had to stop to point them out. The worst was when we TRIED to ride past the house on the corner that is notorious for leaving things all over the yard. He felt the need to point out every single hot wheel car, every piece of trash, anything you might not normally see sitting in someone's yard, he had to tell me about it (and they were home, and they had their windows open). One house had side walk chalk drawings all over the front walk and he was thrilled by them. "Mom, these are just so beautiful. Aren't they?" He noticed several tulips "just like ours." And I was getting so unbelievably frustrated with him the entire time for constantly stopping and moving so slow. I felt like I spent more time on our ride around the block standing in one spot then I did moving. He even some how noticed a rolly polly (pill bug) in the dirt while he was riding his bike that he thought he needed to stop and pick up, oh and a dead worm in a pile of leaves. (He loves rolly pollies and worms) How does anyone notice a dead worm in a pile of leaves while riding their bike around the block? Seriously.
I kept saying, "Buddy, we're going for a bike ride here. You have to pedal. Do you want to just walk home now? Come on, keep pedaling." He's not lazy. He's very active. He wasn't struggling at the task particularly he's just honest to goodness over observant. The first time we attempted the "bike ride" I got really frustrated with myself for getting frustrated with him. The second time I left the house telling myself that I needed to not get frustrated with him and I still did. I'm going to try for bike ride around the block part three before too long and this time I'm going to try and tell myself that we're not going for a bike ride we're going for a journey. I mean, that's how I'm teaching him to live his life, to notice all the little things along the way, to experience the processes of things not just the act in itself, to really take it all in. Getting frustrated with him for wanting to watch ants on our bike ride is beyond unacceptable. I'm a monster (at times) but this kid is slowly but surely teaching me patience. And to think I thought I'd be teaching him to appreciate the little things. Ha!