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And Then He Started 3rd Grade

And Then He Started 3rd Grade

Dear Hunter,
You started third grade. You loved it until another boy hit you in the back. On purpose.

I think you handled it the way you felt was best at the time. You told the teacher.
Dad coached you to hit back next time. And we have always told you that you will never be in trouble for defending yourself with your words or your fists.
I coached you to consider doing something without your fists, if at all possible.

Three days later you still ruminated, marinated, really, on the incident and all the bad things you could do to get back at the other boy. You were angry and plotting your retaliation. We were driving to school.

I stopped the car in the middle of our dirt road and turned to look at you. I felt lost. How was I going to help you? Being a parent is full of these moments. Questioning how I can help you on your human journey.

I said, “Honey, I can almost guarantee that the other boy is not thinking about you right now. He’s getting ready for school or getting yelled at by his mom for NOT getting ready for school. He’s taking up all your energy and thoughts right now. You are the one feeling big feelings about something that happened three days ago. Not him. Sweetheart, brains are super powerful. You can choose to not think about him. You can train your brain and make its super powers work for you rather than let all those thoughts run loose. Would you like to know how?” I breathed easier when you said yes.

We practiced how to recognize the thought about him and redirect to something you are good at or were looking forward to. I said his name and you said ‘hunting and fishing’ or ‘playing with the dogs.’

By the time we got to school, you were laughing instead of fuming.

I picked you after school and asked how it all went. You said it went pretty good.

I’ll take that as a win.

I hope we are building a trust so that you keep coming to me when you are angry, hurting, questioning, or happy.

Love,
Mom

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2021 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Uncategorized

 

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Hand Hand Hand

Dear Hunter,

Your vocabulary and pronunciation continue to expand so rapidly that I have a hard time keeping up with all the new words you know and use, especially since the pronunciation for many of them isn’t quite what it will be in a few months.

One word I know is “Hand.” It comes out as “hanh.” But when your little fingers reach out for mine, I know exactly what you want. You want to take me some place, show me something you find fascinating or you want me to take the good china out of the cabinet so you can play with it. I know these days, when you want me with you, won’t last forever so I do my best to let go of the laundry folding, dish washing and electronic distractions, take your hand and follow your lead.

You have shown me rocks I never would have seen without your keen eye. You pull me out of grown-up-ness and back to little-hood with peek a boo and toy tractors. I play in the dirt more with you than I ever did when I was a child. We walk down the gravel road to see the neighbor’s horses. We blow bubbles. We chalk the side walk – and the fence and the doors and the house (dad didn’t like that much, but he got over it when the rain came and washed it all off).

Thank you for showing me the world through your eyes. Thank you for taking my hand. And just so you know, it will always be there for you.

Love,
Mom

 

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Brave Twirl

Dear Hunter,

Every day you inspire me to be brave. With each new discovery you make, I first take a deep breath and then, depending on what you are doing, I take a step forward or backward. I come toward you to share in your discovery or be closer if I need to pick you up when you fall.  I move away to give you a sense of autonomy and mastery over your world and body.

You recently learned how much fun it is to twirl in circles, get dizzy and fall down. And my first instinct is to tell you to be careful, that you are going to fall.  But my brave self tells me that you have to learn how to fall, how to crash in to things and learn how to get up even when it hurts. So, I laugh with you as you twirl, giggling all the way to the floor. Sometimes the twirl ends with tears and a bruise or two. I say, “Yep, that hurt, buddy. Do you want my help?” Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You get more sure-footed with every twirl, though. And I get braver.

I hope you never forget how much fun it is to twirl, my dear boy. You’ve reminded me what a joy it is to play and get dizzy and silly and giggle, falling down.

I love you,

Mom

 

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