My goal as a mother, is to make my boys' childhood as magical as possible. In order to do this, I point out the beauty in life everytime I notice it. We try to experience as much as we can. We use our imagination a lot and we read stories and tell stories.
Isaac has been "reading" since birth. He never got attached to a specific stuffed animal or blanket. His comfort objects at nap time have always been books. These days, he's actually reading every night as he falls asleep. I'm keeping track of how many books he has read for a contest at school (Read, Right, and Run, I'll tell you about it later) but he only needs to read 26 books and we probably surpassed that in the first week of the contest. But few of my favorite childrens books are actually appropriate for his age. That's the good thing about telling stories. My boys know all about Narnia and Hogwarts, Never Neverland and even Bedford Falls because I can tell those stories in age appropriate ways long before I'd let them read the stories or see them in a movie.
Asher and I have begun telling each other stories and making some up ourselves. He's learning to stretch his imagination. Let me be clear, I would also like to instill a love of learning in my boys so I take every opportunity to teach them facts and truths of what I know but I think both magic and truth can exist together in childhood. The other day Asher and I were walking home after dropping Isaac off at school. It was a very windy day and the leaves were all blowing in the same direction across the street. I asked Asher why he thought the leaves were all going the same way thinking it would be a teachable moment about wind. He decided there must be a leaf party to get to. It made me smile. I mentioned later in our walk that the wind was blowing them all in the same direction and because we see where the leaves are going, we can know which direction the wind is coming from, but then we talked about what leaves do at a party. Dance, of course!
Months ago, when we still knew what the sun looked like, Asher and I were cleaning up the play room. He saw the light from the window illuminating tiny particles of dust and said, "Look, Mom, sun seeds!" I had never heard of the phrase before, but of course that's what a child would think they are. Surely someone had told him to call them that, right? That was too precious of an idea to come from my kid… I googled "sun seeds" and "what are sun seeds" and found out about a Hebrew Jazz band and a brand of bird seed… but expected to find some cute mommy blogs or something that referred to what I assumed must be a common phrase. If he had never heard that phrase before, I'd think him the most precious boy in the world, but it sure does sound like something our sweet friend, Ms. Sue, would talk about. Okay, so I already think he is the most precious boy in the world. My opinions haven't changed.
The boys also think being a mother is the equivalent to being a sorcerer. I like to let them think that. It's good for their own integrity. Time and time again, they are baffled when I call them out while they are doing something behind my back. I don't mind letting them think that I have eyes in the back of my head. I don't mind NOT telling them that I can use every one of my five senses to find out when they are being naughty somewhere out of my sight. It doesn't take a sorcerer to see in a 4 year olds face that he has been lying. It doesn't even take a mom to know when he's gotten into the candy stash. It's literally written all over his face. When Asher hides under the table, there are two things he could be doing 1. Eating some food he swiped from the pantry or 2. Picking his nose. When two rambunctious boys who are louder together than a rocket launch start whispering, you know they are up to no good. But lucky for their mother, they don't know how to whisper and you can always hear their scheme.
I have a hard time remembering much of my own childhood. I can only remember a couple of events before 6th grade, it seems. But I do remember pretty vividly an instant when I was very young and I was coloring at the kitchen table. I guess I was known for eating crayons because when my mom went to take the trash out, she looked at me and said, "Emily, I'm going to take the trash out. Please don't eat any crayons when I'm gone." Which just so happened to give me a great idea! I know now that when she returned just seconds later, I should not have greeted her with a red speckled smile and maybe I would have gotten away with it…
Every day we get the same question in our house, "How did you know?!" And every day I respond with, "Because I'm Mommy. And Mommies always know." And then I give him The Eye.
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