My best friend shakes her head and says I just have a hard time believing the stories you tell me are true.
I know she does. It's because she sees you away from home most of the time. Where you feel less sure of your surroundings and still hover near by, ready to take refuge and willing to listen when I caution.
You wouldn't have believed it anyway.. laughs the grandmother when I explain that I never expected this. I never imagined carrying you, kicking and screaming, to your car seat and pinning you down while I strapped you in. How you were wearing only a diaper and a pair of shorts and how comical and terrible it all seemed at once, trying not to cry but yet feeling a laugh stir in my soul. Your face, angry and red like a tomato at seven thirty in the morning, because a tee shirt was out of the question.
Yes, you really are trying to start the grill.
You are not like me. Of course, you are in some ways, but your personality, your strong desire to assert your independence, your unwillingness to give an inch; I don't know what that's like. I want to teach you that it's alright if everyday is a little different than the one before. That it's nice to take it all in sometimes. You don't have to manage every single thing all of the time.
Do not be fooled by the boy who pretends to sleep
I'm just not sure I know how to do that. Because you are not me. It may have taken me twenty nine months to fully understand that, but I do. I officially proclaim that you know what you want better than I do now. I might know a way that is more direct, safe or colorful. I can do my best to influence you and the way that you think, but my days of thinking for you are done. You want ice cream trucks and fire engines to drive past our house. Now. You want to buckle your seat belt YOURSELF. You want to cross the street without holding hands. You want the blue shorts. You want the waffle to be cold and damn it, you want the grape juice NOT the fruit punch and you do not want it in a sippy cup.
This morning, exasperated and tired of fighting every.single.thing. I said to you, Can we please be friends? But as the words crossed my lips I remembered that I am not here to be your friend. I am here to help you learn that feelings are strong and that some things are just not possible when you want them and if you throw that monster truck at me you will have a time out because that's not a good way to handle disappointment. I'm not saying I'm not tempted to chuck one myself, and maybe I have when you weren't looking, but only when you couldn't see me. Because I get mad too. Mad when I lose my temper. Upset when I react in the moment and forget that I need to help you learn what you should do instead of always pointing out what you shouldn't.
I like things the easy way. It pains me that we have entire days (weekends, weeks) where it seems we don't get along, but I try to remind myself that today is different than yesterday and tomorrow won't be the same as today. That it's OK to take it all in sometimes and not manage every little thing. To dawdle at bed time and to choose to pick the chocolate chips out of the cookies before you eat them. (Even though that just doesn't make any sense, I personally think it's better if you eat them together, it's up to you.) It's not easy, this stage we are in, because I am not you. But I need to let you be two.