Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Learning something of my own

I read this cool story on Huffington Post this morning. It reminded me of something that happened on a smaller scale yesterday with Blake. He was outside while our neighbor's kids were our riding their Power Wheels  back and forth on the sidewalk. He watched them for awhile and made faces at them. I told him that if he wanted to play with them, he shouldn't make faces he should ask them to play.  

They switched to bikes, so he ran to get his bike. Blake said, "let's go, guys!" I told Ean (the oldest brother) that Blake wanted to play with him, but doesn't always say the right things to let him know.  (though "Let's go, guys" was pretty good this time!) He and his brother Holden rode bikes back and forth on the sidewalk.  They could fly! Ean told me that Blake should probably just go in the grass when he wanted to get around his lilttle brother Emerson.  I told him that was a good idea, but he's not very good at driving on grass yet.  He said, "Well, he probably just needs to practice more."  and then proceeded to demonstrate his ability to drive on grass.  And he said, "see Blake?  Do it like this!"

They played awhile longer while I talked with Heather, the boys' mama.  She mentioned that Ean said, "Mom, I'm going to go out and play with Blake," and ran out.  No big deal to him.

It was a small interaction, but it meant a lot to me.  Not to be all melodramatic, but oftentimes, I rein my kids in and tell them not to bother people, encouraging them to play by themselves, just because I fear their rejection.  I don't think I give people enough credit sometimes.

Last week, our neighbor across the street had a birthday party.  They were in the front yard and there was a Happy Birthday banner hung across the garage door.  Blake was outside and I was sitting on the front step, watching him.  He said, "Mom, is a birthday party?  Who?"  I said, "I think it's a birthday party for Norm."  Well, he loves birthday parties, so he sat watching for awhile.  He hollered a few times, "Happy Birthday!  Happy Birthday, Norm!" Norm didn't hear him and Blake kept yelling and watching.  I shushed him, because I didn't want him to seem like a weird gawker.  But I think I got it wrong.

If I am always apologizing for my kids and corralling them in, how can they experience life outside my controlled environment? Sometimes we face rejection.  That's part of life. 

The other day, a young man was walking past our house.  Blake said, "Hi boy. What you doing?"  The boy said, "I am walking to church," and Blake replied, "Oh, good job!"  The boy seemed to get a kick out of it.  He smiled and said goodbye.  Ordinarily, I'd have just smiled apologetically and said hi, or answered for them, telling Blake that they were out for a walk.  

My kids will always be different, but my sheltering them will not help them find their spot in the community.  So, in the future, if you are on a walk, and Blake happens to holler at you, asking what you're doing, I am not going to shut him up.  Just tell him what you're doing, ok?