Halloween, 2013

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Hallowe’en is a holiday that does not sit well with Colt.  He does not like the dark, hates knocking on people’s door (shy…I was like that as a kid too), is terrified that a dog will jump out and hurt him and he is deeply unsettled when people do not look the way they are supposed to with masks and make up.  The pretend world isn’t supposed to cross into reality for my boy.

Each year we ask several times if he’d like to go trick or treating and every year we get an ambivalent “yes” although he usually only does a handful of houses.  This year I started early, telling him he didn’t have to do it; If he wanted, we could go to the dollar store on the weekend so he can pick out his own Hallowe’en candy!  I offered to get him a plastic Hallowe’en basked he could fill so he’d have as much candy as his friends to enjoy.  Even with this offer, he still decided to go.

Every year he has picked a costume to wear.  No masks, no face makeup, no hats or anything strange on his head.  No animal ears or tails, no-thing at all aside from a pair of skeleton gloves and a skeleton toque where nothing was hanging off.  lol  Fine.  It was an easy costume to maintain and he never wavers in the end.  Even if he wants to be Sonic the Hedgehog, he ends up a partial skeleton.  (He wouldn’t even wear the hoodie with the bones on the front in class this year!)  BOOOO 4

As dark fell on a rainy, strangely warm Hallowe’en night, Colt and his dad set out to get some candy.  He went first to his sitter’s house but didn’t want the potato chips or apple he was offered.  He went to the next house and got a mini bag of M&M’s then burst into tears and begged his dad to bring him home.

The poor child wants, so much, to be like his friends and I can see the little tendrils of hurt snaking through his mind and heart, but, I think that by letting him no there was no shame in disliking trick or treating he felt a little better.

As he came in he walked right into my arms for a hug.  I kissed his head and told him there were lots of kids afraid of the dark, dogs and costumes and that he would never have to go again.  Next year I’m going to buy him candy before hand and make a game of hiding it around the house or something.  I feel so sad for him, missing out.  Mind you, I wasn’t a huge fan either.  I used to follow a bunch of kids so I never had to knock….

halloween-wallpaper-55Ah well.  Another Halloween over.  This was a hard one for my boy.

So many changes this year….so much growing up going on.  He struggles all the time but never once have I seen him give up.  He never quits anything…just keeps at it until he finds his own way.  He’s going to get there, I hope.

So, with a few tears and lots of hugs he settled again and began planning his shopping adventure for candy.

“Can I have ten packages of chocolate?”  He asked. “And some gummy worms and bubble gum?”

“Yep, yep and yep!” I answered.

Things were wonderful after that.  I love being able to fix what isn’t working in his life.  If only it was all this easy.

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All by his Own

My little guy is turning nine this summer and he’s getting to be no longer a “little guy”. The child is nearly as tall as me and his feet just surpassed mine…if I try to bum a pair of socks from him they flop off my feet, all stretched out.

He has reached the phase where he wants to do everything by himself, or as he says “all by my own”.

One day this spring Colt came to us and asked if he could take swimming lessons.  We instantly figured that he didn’t understand what ‘swimming lessons’ actually were, as his sensitivity level to loud noises and commotion is very high.

We went to the local YMCA and got a membership so the lessons would be included and we could still have family swims in the pool…play around in the gym, that sort of stuff.  I took him down to the pool while lessons were going on and pointed.

“Colt…THAT is swimming lessons.  You see what those kids are doing?”

“Yes.  Swimming lessons.  That’s what I want please.”

“Okay Colt but it’s going to be loud…”

“That’s okay with me.”

“…and it’s going to be busy and you’ll have to go in alone…mom can’t come with you.”

“That’s okay with me too.”

“Okay then, let’s get you signed up.”:I said as we walked to the front desk.  I was sure he’d chicken out or change his mind before we registered but no, he didn’t.  He actually walked up to the counter and addressed the clerk.

“I would like swimming lessons please?”  He said, so politely.

So…he’s taking swimming lessons.  We started him with the little kids in the very first group and although we got a bit of pushback from the lifeguards, they understood when they tried to talk to him that he wasn’t even grasping the concept yet.

After two lessons, he was floating on his back.  Now, he’s learning the front crawl while wearing a life jacket.  He works hard to get it right, listens very carefully to the instructor, and when she is working with the other kids in his class, he practices his newly learned moves.

This child, who used to panic when the shower water sprayed *anywhere* near his face, is now diligently practicing the lessons he’s learning so he will be able to swim.

*big smiles, happy tears*  I didn’t know if this day would ever come….  This is the first instance of Colt making a decision, asking for help to execute that decision and then sticking with it looking forward to the achievement of his goal.  (sigh of relief)

He’s such a cool kid.  I learn so much about life, through his beautiful blue eyes.

The Shower Trick

One thing that Colt loves, more than anything, is surprise treats brought home for no reason at all. His dad is wonderful like that, always stopping here or there to grab something small and delicious to bring a smile to Colt’s face.  It’s often a healthy snack too…we’re lucky that Colt LOVES fruits and veggies so a surprise fruit tray or veggie platter is met with the same joy that ice cream or chocolate cake.

Last night while in negotiations to get the boy into the shower, D pulled me aside and told me that he had bought some little Italian ice treats which he hadn’t mentioned aloud yet.  He decided to use this as bait.

“Oh hey Colt?”  He said

“Yeah dad?”

“I forgot to tell you, I stopped at the store on my way home and picked up a yummy treat for your snack after bath!”

“WOW!!  WHAT IS IT DAD?”  Colt bellowed, instantly excited.  “Is it a watermelon?  Is it candy?  Is it a chocolate bar?  Is it a smoothie?  Is it a waffle…?”

D, being smart, wouldn’t tell him what the treat was.

“You can have one as soon as you’re done in the shower” he brilliantly added.

Let me tell you, there has never been a faster shower in the history of eight year olds.  The child tore off his clothes, jumped into the tub but then seemed to hesitate.

“MOM!?”  He yelled even though I was standing about 4 feet away.  “Um…so you have to get in the shower too.”  (He was afraid I’d get to the treats before he was done).  lol..I promised not to even peek in the freezer until he was washed, dried, and ready for bed.

He flew through his shower and jumped out, not even bothering to dry off before pulling on his PJ’s…lol…wet spots sticking to him everywhere.  He took my hand and lead me to the kitchen where we finally got to see what it was.  (I say finally but understand it was about five minutes after the whole episode began).

“OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!” he grinned so wide I thought his head might split in two.  D pulled out the box of ice treats and when Colt saw that they came with candy spoons he just about dropped from sheer delight.

We sat together, his leg pressed to mine, and enjoyed our snack in the living room.  Every third scoop was shared and he didn’t stop saying “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” the whole time he was eating.

“Don’t I just have the best dad ever?” Colt asked me quietly after we had finished our snack.  Were comparing blue lips and tongues at the time.  “This was the best day of my entire life!”  He concluded.

I love this life.  When a five dollar box of ice and sugar can put such a beautiful smile on a child’s face…  Just makes me thankful to be here, to be his mom, and to be the one who gets to love him.  I feel so lucky.  So loved.

Who could ever want for more?

The Worst Day of his Life – According to Colt

So this morning, we got up, kind of grumbled at each other in passing (morning mumbles) and got ready to leave. As we stepped out the door we were greeted with grey skies and pouring rain/ice/rain/ice.

cloudsWe drove on slippery roads all the way to the sitter’s house and the moment we arrived….downpour.  Of course.  I had handily forgotten my umbrella at my office so we had to sort of duck and run for the door with our coats half-over our heads.

“Ooohh my GOD MOM!!  THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIIIIIIIFE!!”  Colt WAY over-dramatically screamed at the top of his lungs.

“Hahahahahahahahahaha!” was, literally, all I could say.

“RUN FOR COVER!!!”  He instructed as he shoved me out of the way and darted for the front stoop…..leaving me in his dust.  Or mud, I guess, since it was pouring.

He didn’t even wait for me, and ran inside the house, slamming the door in my face.

*Knock Knock Knock*

“Ooooh.  Hello there Mommy!” he cried.  “You look a bit soggy.  Were you under the weather?”

(Get it?  He thinks “under the weather” means…literally, under the rain clouds)

I giggled and handed him his school bag while his friends came tearing up the stairs to help him celebrate getting there so early.  They happily skipped off to play before the bus and I ventured back out into the rain.

Some days (most days) I wish I could live in his beautiful world right next to him.  ❤

My Son, the Mommy-Healer

Yesterday I was struggling with pain and ended up going home from work a few hours early to see if I could get a jump on it. When my son arrived home from school he came bouncing into the living room where I was resting and he opened his arms wide for a hug.  I moved slowly and he noticed.

“What’s wrong Mom?  Are you sick?”  He asked with worry in his beautiful blue eyes.

“No, I just have a sore back today sweetheart, I’m okay.” I answered.

He put his arms around me very gently and asked if it helped, getting a hug.  I admitted that it made me feel a little better. He then, so softly, put his hand on my back and rubbed in small circles.

“Does this help more than the hug?”  He wondered.

“Oh yes, this is helping so much!” I confirmed.

He carried on taking care of my back until I declared myself better.

“Ta-daaaaaaa!  Hooray for Colt the Mommy Healer!”  He sang out and ran off to play.

It’s true too.  He is the one who heals my heart every single day.   (Seriously, how lucky am I?!)  xx

A beautiful post that reflects a depth of understanding I wish everyone in this world had. Reblogged with permission from the Author: http://roots2blossom.wordpress.com

Roots to Blossom

My daughter is learning about life, love, acceptance, and intolerance. She is in the third grade, but acting with a gentle wisdom and constant big-hearted love for all that makes my own heart grow.

My girl is super smart, reads several years above her grade level, and learns everything quite easily. She is not bored in school though, as her active imagination keeps her going. No bestest friend ever yet. She is very busy, in clubs, sports, and extracurriculars and talks easily with anyone and everyone. I love watching her flit about from a young group of boys, where she acts like a monkey to make them laugh, then off to a group of moms where she impresses them with some reminder of a forgotten task, and then over to a group of girls and “oohs” at their necklaces and new shoes. She is happy where ever she is. And…

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You can do anything! (except that…)

I was having a chat with Colt the other day about the future.  “Future” on its own is a brand new concept for my boy and it’s been fun watching him grow to understand that tomorrow brings choices you might not have today.  We’re encouraging the understanding by talking of things to come far in the future to help him learn some patience because like any other kid, he cannot wait five minutes for anything.  (Recalls last Christmas Eve when he was still awake at 2am, in tears because “waiting is sooooo hard mom!”).

In keeping with the future talk, I asked Colt one day what he’d like to be when he grew up “big as daddy”.

“Ummm, I think I’ll be a race car driver.  Wait no!  A mad scientist!”  

“A mad scientist eh?  Well, that sounds like a fun job to have!”

“No, wait mom, I want to be a rock star!”

“Cool!  Will you write me a song?”

“Nooooo mom.  I have to write about rock and roll things.”

“Okay, well, can I come to your concerts then?”

“Yes.  I’ll give you ONE ticket.”

🙂  We went on like that for a while with him changing his mind every other thought when he suddenly stopped and looked at me.

“Mom…do I just have to be one thing when I grow big as daddy?”

“NO!”  I cheered, “You can do anything you want to do Colt.  Anything.”

“Uh mom?”  His eyes turned suspicious on me.  “I can’t do anything I want…”

I jumped right on that one.  “Oh yes you can my son and don’t you let anyone tell you different!  There is nothing you can’t do.  If you want it, you go for it and I’ll back you up all the way!”

The child looked at me with an absolute dead-pan expression and stated, “No.  Mom you’re wrong.  I can’t do ‘anything‘ I want.  I can’t fart on people….”

(…..)

“Well now.  I never quite thought of it that way….”

He was quite right wasn’t he?  You really can’t go around farting on people these days.  So, the good news is I’ve managed to let him know that farting on people is not an acceptable career choice for the future.  Oh, and I’ve also learned that I must watch what I say very carefully….lol.  I can only hope that they have some sort of career day for the grade 3’s this year.  I simply cannot wait to get that note home….haha.  My boy.  ❤

Fist Bump

Colt and I were in the car on the way to his bus stop this morning when he asked me what I was thinking about.

“I’m just thinking about my day” I said.

“Are you thinking about how you are going to do a good job at work and try your best?”

“I will if you will” I answered “Want to make a deal?  We’ll both try our best today to do a good job and treat people well?”

“Okay mom!”  he cheered!

“It’s a deal!” I said, thinking I was sealing it up right there.

“Uh mom?  It’s not a ‘deal’ until you bump my fist, you know?”

. . . . .   well.  Fair enough then right?  (*fist bump* to the back seat) I’m cool.  Right?  Still?  To my seven-year old, at least?  lol!

Anything is Possible

This one happened years ago now, but it’s a moment I’ve always wanted to capture in writing.

When Colt was about 2 he stopped screaming all the time.  He would interact with us, his dad and I, and we struggled through his interactions with others, together.  He wasn’t walking at all but he had a handful of words that he could use with some regularity, first one (lol, of course) was for his dad, ‘dada’ at that point.  Now, although I realize that this could *not* have been intentional on Colt’s part, it made me absolutely green with envy.  I had spent a year locked into a long, lonely, soulful battle between the medical system and my poor, unhappy, screaming, little baby, not feeling like I could ever help him yet struggling to do something anyway, and he said “dada” before even considering “mama.”  I began coaching him mercilessly…

“Mmma-ma-ma-ma Colt, do you want something to drink?”  I’d start every darn sentence with ma-ma-ma.  The child probably thought I had gone mad.   No matter how much I begged, though, he would just not say it.  He wouldn’t even practice it!  Just sat there, staring at me with those big blue eyes with silent resolve.

Time passed and I did not let up.  Sometimes I would just say, “Colt!  Please?  Mmmmm-amamamama loves you SO much and would loooooove it if you’d just say mama for me?”  only to be met with the same, calm stare.  I tried to trick him into too.  “Do you want a mmma-rshmallow?  You have to try to say ‘ma-rshmallow’ first…?”  No dice.  Seriously, the kid was that smart, even then.  I eventually decided to try another tack and just not bring it up at all.  I did, he completely dismissed the whole thing and went on with his life, never calling me ‘mom’.

A few weeks later we were sitting down to Sunday dinner that included an apple pie (from scratch!  An amazing feat for me in the kitchen).  The whole house smelled like the pie, still warm in the oven, and Colt had been interested in it since before dinner started.  He had a super-sensitive tummy as a little one and apple pie was not something on the regular diet so I didn’t expect that he would ask for some, but he definitely wanted a bite when his dad took a slice.  Colt actually picked up and tried to hand over his empty plate…lol.

“You’d like some of this would you?” I smiled, sensing a chance at gaining a bargaining chip.  “Okay, I’ll make you a deal sweet one:  You call me “mom” and I’ll get you some pie.”

Colt picked up his plate, looked me dead in the eye and said “mom.”  Just like that.  No fanfare, no finish-line, just…a plate being handed to me for his serving of pie.  His dad froze, smiled, looked amazed, glanced at me, and burst into laughter.

“Well, you do make a damn good apple pie…”

Apparently so.  (Note to self).  🙂

A Lesson in Bravery

A week or so ago, the Ministry of Health sent us a letter requesting that we catch Colt up on his inoculation booster, something we apparently missed doing when he was five.  With all the stuff that was going on back then (lol, ‘back then’ was only two years ago) it must have slipped everyone’s mind.

I made the appointment for a time that I would have to go for blood work so he could watch me and my reaction to having a needle in my arm before he went through it, knowing he wouldn’t remember the last time in his own life.  I told him about it the morning of so he wouldn’t worry too much, but just enough to keep him in balance, and he did as well as I’ve come to expect from him, such resolve, that kid.  ❤  The only trouble was that the nurse who was to draw my blood was behind and the one who was to deliver Colt’s inoculations was ahead and he ended up having to go before me.  Unanticipated changes involving needles don’t sit well with Colt…well, with anyone, I’d suspect.

His dad happened to be working in the area and managed to take his lunch hour at the appointment time, much to Colt’s relief.  He was so happy to see his dad and told the nurse, after it was all over, that his daddy had come to “lend him some brave.”  The nurse almost cried and his dad lit up like a Christmas Tree.  🙂  Was something special to see.

My nurse was ready for me after Colt calmed down a little and I asked him if he would please come with me to lend ME some brave, if he had any left.  He readily agreed, sniffling and with tears streaking his cheeks, he came to stand beside me.  Tears kept pouring out of his eyes as he dealt with his own discomfort and pain while he choked out,

“It’s going to be okay mommy, *hiccup, sniff* I won’t leave you and the nurse *sniff* is very nice, she will go as fast as she can!”

After she found my vein and started filling vials he asked me if I was okay and then, afterwards, put his hand in mine and told me that I was very brave, sitting so still to let the nurse take my blood.   He asked if it hurt and I said it did a little.  He said his hurt a LOT, not a little,  and then asked for ice cream.

He cried every time he thought about it for the next 10 minutes or so as we said ‘see you later’ to his dad.  Then, as he does, he pulled himself together and announced the experience “over” with a smile of satisfaction and pride, having accomplished it at all.

Colt processes emotional things, fears, experiences…so much better and more definitively than I’ve ever been able to.  In fact, I don’t know a single adult who functions like this.  Maybe he’s the one who has it the right way around… maybe it’s “us” who can’t see big picture?

Just one more example of how I wish, and strive, to be more like my son, who has already learned the uselessness of carrying painful moments from the past around with you.

🙂  Thanks for visiting.