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Thursday, June 27

And with your Spirit

I'm not sure what disturbs me more...the fact that my baby just turned 6, or the fact that my eldest will be 8 in the morning. I HAVE AN 8 YEAR OLD! I can't believe it, I just can't. In my mind my husband and I are still those goofy college kids sneaking liquor up to our rooms in brown paper bags, having just flirted on AOL instant messenger.  But it's true, and even though I still often wonder how the hell I got here so fast, here I am. You may or may not know that my firstborn was and still is a bit of a hot head. He is super independent  competitive, and knows way more than me to the point where he will burst into tears arguing me like a judicial figure. But keep him I will. Every moment that I am not screaming or laying dramatically with an icepack on my head, I am wondering at the marvel of the miracle of life. The miracle that something so intricate and wonderful is possible. And something wonderful is possible for you my son. Someday your independent personality will take you places. And when you get there, remember to call your Mother on Sundays. 

My first baby, one day old.

Taken from a Facebook Note I wrote in 2009 (4 years ago):
I remember when I was a child accusing my mother of not knowing what she was doing. My little brother was often so wild she would pull at her hair and throw him to the couch saying, "don't you move!" At times like that I would promise myself that when I had a child I would discipline them out of being so wild like my brother was, that my mom had to have been doing something wrong to have a brother that she could not keep calm and controlled.
I also knew the type when I was a teacher. They were those students that required a little more redirection. They were the students who always "forgot" to raise their hands or walk quietly in line. They were also usually the most creative students who had the most fun during activites. Unfortunatly, sometimes their "spirit" got in the way and too much discipline would be involved.
I knew my baby Vinny was different from the get-go. He was generally quiet in my belly, until several times a day he would begin to move somewhat violently as if he was tired of floating around in my womb. The day he was to be born he screwed-up all of our plans of a natural childbirth by laying in an unfavorable way which would not allow him to come out properly, his shoulder jokingly pinching my epidural space so that no pain relief would flow. I knew from that point on I was in for it. 
I have no memory of this baby during the delivery at all. My first memory of Vinny was when I was in the recovery room, weary, and he was wraped up in Brad's arms. His eyes were wide as saucers as he surveyed the room. I wondered what the heck he was looking at, or more importantly, what he was looking for. He continued to be alert most of the time, eyes wild, and constantly searching. 
By the time Vinny was three months old he no longer wanted to sleep. By six months he was rolling around the room grabbing for stuff. At nine months my baby crawled up the stairs and hid from me. By his first birthday, i was officially done for. Vinny had now denounced strollers, shopping carts, sitting still basically anywhere, and letting me hold his hand. He would run so fast sometimes I would gasp for air trying to catch him. As much as I loved my child, I was already getting the impression that this was a long road. At 18 months his first words were, "I do!"... and at 24 months naps were a thing of the past.
It was pretty much then I started to make excuses about taking him places with my friends. Their kids would sit in strollers happily drinking from sip cups while my son screamed to get out and then ran like a Hell's Angel from me. I tried to take him to Mommy and Me classes where the others would sit in their parent's laps like kids do on TV to sing the songs while mine ran around the room climbing everything in sight. It was at those times I would get in the car, strap him into his carseat, and begin to sob. Why was I the only one???
I then came across a quote that would become my mantra in caring for my son. 
"Stop thinking about the baby you thought you would get and learn to love the baby you did get." Another was the suggestion not to use the terms "naughty" or "bad" but rather to substitute "spirited" in for a child who was a rebel without cause. So "spirited" my son became and "spirited" he still is. 
Today my son turned 4-years-old. I would say that out of a 7 day week, 5 1/2 are spent chasing, disciplining, sobbing, and searching for a way to contain his energy. I still don't go to the mall, zoo, pool, or anywhere else for that matter with the two children by myself for fear he will dissapear off the face of the earth while I'm tying my shoe. My friends often laugh at me about this, but my fears of tantrums, chaos, and loosing my boy are enough for me to have learned to just take a pass and stay home. Home is where I have controll, maybe a little, but some.
"But he's wild!" I cried to my pediatrician, "I can't discipline him any more!"
"A boy like this becomes a CEO while the others sit back and watch." the doctor had said.
The only other thing than a lot of support that has kept me going through these 4 long years is that I made him. Yep, that's it put simply...I MADE HIM. Whatever he is, or whatever he becomes I have to hang on and keep him. I will keep trying forever to shape him, mold him, and keep him safe. The knowledge that he came from me helps me to take a breath and enjoy the things that are so wonderful about my son.
Vinny tells the best jokes, and makes up new ones daily. Vinny loves to play games and is very smart and competitive. Vinny makes up the best and most fantastical stories. Vinny draws great pictures of boats, monsters, fish and dinosaurs, then makes them come to life with his humor. Vinny always tells me I'm beautiful even when I feel like I have given up. 
I will need more than strength in the years to come, but for now the boy I made is mine to have, the good and the bad, the fun and the challenging. It's true we want our children to be assertive, strong-willed, and independant, but as mothers we have a hard time adjusting to these things in the early years.
Regardless, I love you Vinny for who you are. Happy Birthday, Buddy.

1 comment:

  1. I love love love this. I don't know why I have never read this before! Vinny may be spirited but he is the most caring and compassionate friend that a mother could ask for her son to have. I am so happy that Jack has a life long friend in Vinny.

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