Friday, June 29, 2012

To Pre-school...and Be-yooooonnnnd...

A few days after Little G's graduation ceremony my husband and I met with the director of the program to go over Little G's evaluation.  It was a tear filled meeting - tears of joy for how well he has done and how much he has changed over the course of just six months; and tears of sadness that he will be leaving this amazingly nurturing environment.

The school director told us that the most important thing to know about our son is that he needs nurturing.  He is a very sensitive child and is incredibly intuitive.  He knows when things are off, or when we are angry or upset and he feeds off of it.  She gave the example that just a week prior she had been harried getting some things done just before coming down to meet the children.  She obviously took a breath and greeted each child with a smile, but Little G looked right at her, took her hand and asked her if she was ok.

She described to us that the hardest thing that we needed to keep in mind with Little G was the fine line between being stern and being angry.  Because now that he is entering his three's (and the period of rebelling and button pushing that is synonymous with the age) we will have to be extra careful to not take his actions personally and thus get angry.  Rather, we will need to firmly redirect him and move on.

This feedback is so invaluable to me.  I have always described Little G as a social baby - meaning, we always did so much better out in public than when on our own.  I have also always known that we were very similar and considered that to be the number one reason why we butt heads - we are both very independent and very stubborn.  But while I knew he was also a loving and sensitive child, it never dawned on me to consider my own experiences with being an intuitive and emotional person.  When someone feels bad, I feel awful.  If Little G is just like me, but still growing into himself, than no wonder he has acted the way he has acted whenever things have boiled over and I have gotten angry;  we have essentially fed off each other until combustion in that scenario.

Suddenly, and frustratingly three whole years after jumping into the water, this parenting thing is starting to make a little more sense.  I only wish I had had this clarity when Little G was 18-21 months old and I was newly pregnant with his sister.  THAT was an awful period of time - the worst so far.  But because I was new to being a parent, and because I didn't have a full three years of observing Little G under my belt, I traipsed along cluelessly just praying for it to get better.

Now I know more about my son, his personality, his spirit.  Now I know more about my mothering, my weaknesses, my intuition.  Now it is time to move on to the next phase in his little life -- to graduate -- knowing more than in the past, taking the time to celebrate the moment and anticipating what lies in our future.

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