Sometimes I get a bit caught up in the everyday. We probably all do, but last night I figured it was high time to take Matt and a little mother-son date.
We go out a lot. We shop, we grab coffee, we chat. But, it's always in the midst of something. I let him play trains while I'm looking for a book at Chapters. Or, we run into Starbucks on our way to a playdate. Or I observe him playing with other kids while I am chatting with friends. Or we talk while we're baking, or cleaning or driving.
We have a good relationship.
But, we rarely take time to stop. And just be. And go somewhere with no purpose other than to be together with no true agenda.
The truth is, sometimes it's hard to do this. About a year ago Matt was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, and the hardest time of day for him is the evening. I understand it. And I accept it, but sometimes I don't exactly work with it. It's easier to let him burn off energy before bed and not contain it, and avoid fights, etc etc.
So, maybe it was a little bit crazy that I decided we do coffee (for me) at about 6:30 last night.
But it was wonderful. We sat for about half an hour and we chatted. Well, he chatted and I listened, and occasionally asked questions, but not many. Mostly I just heard about what was going on in his head. He told me about literacy week at school and recounted the story his teacher had read to them. He told me about his friends at school, and the new friend he made at recess (from the other kindergarten class). And, we talked about grade 1. He's a little nervous about it, but also a little excited.
It was a great conversation.
And it reminded me again why I know my kid is awesome, and why I know that despite some of my fears, that I know he'll grow up to be an amazing person. I need to do this more. I need to stop, and listen, and be present, with no other agenda.
After our coffee, since we were in Chapters, I let him play trains.
What amazes me about my kid is how he forms friendships with other kids. I know lots of children do this. But, despite that I'm still constantly amazed by how easy it is for him. After about 10 minutes he was off in his own little world with another boy his age. They managed to find a ton of common ground and were chatting about lego, books, trains and other boy stuff. They made their way over to the section where they sell all the Thomas stuff and the two of them were standing by the trains, both helping each other sound out all the names of the engines. It wasn't a competition. It was just one kid showing the other kid how to do something. And I sat back watching, fully impressed by how easy it all is, and how sometimes instead of looking at the time, and worrying about stuff, I need to step back and let things unfold.
Of course, the highlight of the night was pumping gas. Are kids allowed to help? I'm hoping so, because Matt wanted to help me every step of the way. I didn't see a problem with this, and in fact I figure it won't be long till I can stay in the warm car and let him pump gas for me (I kid, kind of ...)
And then there was our out of tune rendition of True Colours, over and over on our short drive.
He's almost 6. At the beginning of April my child will be 6!
Not a moment of his childhood has been easy. He was my surprise baby when I was too young to be having kids. He has challenged me every waking moment of his life. And he continues to. He fights me on a lot of stuff. He is strong willed and exuberant and when I tell him no he lets me know that he does NOT like to hear it.
And, I can't imagine loving him more than I do.
Last night when we got home (a little past his bedtime) I was reading him a story and tucking him into bed. Before I left I thanked him for going for coffee, and he said to me "You're welcome. You're lucky you have me as your little boy."
True. So true. And I'm glad he knows it as well as I do.