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The bittersweet of turning six...

Well, after a surreal night of constant waking to seeing if Leah had sms'd me, Dave and I woke with the alarm just after 6am this morning, which was not a great departure from how our day started six years ago when we were headed off to the hospital to have my waters broken to encourage Luey out into this world (he didn't take much encouraging, after 15 minutes of no actions, then 1 hour and 15 minutes of painless contraction, then transition and 30 minutes of painful contractions, came out like a ball out of a canon...

Last night I was waiting to hear the news that Kate had finally met her baby, and she did! At two am, Baby B (no first name as yet) made his grand entrance into the world at an impressive 10lb and 2oz!

After cereal Luey was ready to attack his presents (cereal went half uneaten, truth be told)...

From Bryn he got a Luey Blue soccer ball!

From Erik the red he got a footy!

From us he got the safety gear Dave insisted upon, and the skateboard Dave swore on his life our boys would never have!

So, now he's a skater boy, isn't he just the coolest little dude!! Erik noted tonight that Luey didn't get any "toys", and I had to explain that Luey hadn't asked for toys, that's why. Erik obviously felt that was a great opportunity lost - they're so different!

For dinner we had hotdogs and after dinner there was cake. Luey had been hoping for a party, but this year we just don't have the fundage, so he was very gracious about us just having a family gathering with Safeway cake...

And then he went to sleep hugging his footy...


back in a moment to post more...

Ok back, now that I´ve rebooted to get by my computer going super slowly...

Anyway, so last year turning five was a big deal, he suddenly seemed like such a big boy, and this year has been a lot more low key. And yet this birthday has brought to light how much things have change for Luey in the past year... And it is at once awe inspiring and kind of sad... He´s starting that journey from being home oriented to being community oriented that I believe will culminate at his next birthday.

I´m a big believer in the 7 year cycles of life. The first seven years being about finding ones place in the innermost circle of the family and family friends. The next seven years being about finding ones place in the next circle of local community; school, sports groups, local community etc. The following 7 years about finding oneself in the wider community; much more on a societal basis, and finally realising ones place in the global community...

So, Luey is starting to branch out. He has not been afforded the same "safe haven" Erik had. Erik had the full seven years at home, and Luey was thrust (though he asked for the experience, but of course could not foresee all the variables) into the school community this year. Perhaps he's not quite ready for that, though like anyone on the brink of outgrowing one skin and shedding it to expose a new shiny skin, he is all but bursting to start this new chapter in his life journey...

So, today was a case in point. It was his birthday. He took his new soccer ball to school, full of excitement to share his birthday excitement with his friends... Only thing was today, of all days, even his best friend had a better offer and so no one played with him. My heart aches for him even as I write this. My poor, wonderful lovely bright eyed little boy... It not a big thing in the scheme of things for us adults who know that tomorrow his mates will want to play with him again because whatever took their interest today won't take it tomorrow, but for him it was a big deal...

He longs for that mateship Erik seems to have found with 2-3 class mates, but he doesn't yet have the skills to make it happen, and that confuses him...

As is Luey's nature, none of this came out until Dave was chatting with him in bed (as is Dave's habit of an evening)... Luey asked why nobody likes him, and Dave said, we like him. Luey said he knew Mum and Dad and Erik and Bryn liked him, but why didn't the kids at school like him? Dave said, they hadn't gotten a chance yet to get to know him the way we know him, that takes time, but he (Dave) was sure the kids liked him; his friend LC likes him, and other kids play with him during playlunch and lunch most days... We don't know if that helped Luey or not...

I said to Dave afterwards, I don't know what to do. We can't save them from these situations and these feelings. I could offer to homeschool them, but that wouldn't protect them from feeling hurt or isolated. We can't make other people like our kids, we can ony make sure they know we like them, and hope they can figure the rest out for themselves...

Turning six seems like such a little thing, after turning five, but really it's the beginning of the final year of his being "just ours"... Next year he becomes so much more community oriented and the anxiety crisis tonight was like a big street sign announcing the freeway exist to the next stage of his life!

Comments

Juniper said…
Really quickly on my way to bed, but wanted to say your second last paragraph is just so true IMO. This bit I totally agree with...

" said to Dave afterwards, I don't know what to do. We can't save them from these situations and these feelings. I could offer to homeschool them, but that wouldn't protect them from feeling hurt or isolated. We can't make other people like our kids, we can ony make sure they know we like them, and hope they can figure the rest out for themselves..."

Absolutely Sif you are very astute. It is sooo hard to watch our children go through these experiences, but they are *their* experiences, and what helps make them who they are. We can be there to support and guide them, and help them feel good about themselves, give them good self esteem. That is our job.

But like we ourselves did, they need to *experience* LIFE, in all its good bits and bad bits, for them to become well rounded adults. Despite the fact that it almost kills us to see them sad.

Luey is a gorgeous little boy, who will make friends over time. It is hard to navigate through the school system in the early years - he will get there eventually. And remember, he probably does play with other kids at school - sometimes the kids just tell us the bad bits cause they are the bits they remember.

Hugs!
HipbubbyMama said…
Oh gorgeous pics! Really I'm so sad for Luey that he thinks no one at school likes him! :( He is such a lovely boy, I find it so strange, he should have loads of friends.Which I'm sure he will have-perhaps he already does but not in his immediate class, and perhaps his negative experiences with his teacher are colouring his whole perception? In any case Liam is his friend (my Liam that is as well as his other friend named Liam!) and I'm sure he would love to catch up with Luey during the holidays! Maybe a museum meet?
Sif said…
Aw, that's so sweet Jayne. He was actually saying last night that Liam G (which is now what he calls your Liam, because he knows five of them), is his only friend... I honestly think it was one of those times we all have when we doubt ourselves and think no one likes or understands us. I had just really hoped that somehow, but parenting the way I do, I guess, I could completely prevent him feeling this way.

It's so strange, I was saying to Dave last night, how we've done so much more "right" with Luey, and yet he is more sensitive to this stuff than Erik is... Of course, it's kind of like bfing and ear infections, isn't it... Luey's personaity is probably such that he would always have been sensitive to this stuff, but had we parented him less consciously, he might have actually been suffering even more than he does now...
Bin said…
Yes, you know he might be suffering more and not being able to tell you, which would ultimately work itself out in very unhealthy ways... Oh, poor Luey... It is so hard when these things happen, but I do remember some of those times, and I do think they have helped make me stronger ultimately too. One of the hardest things about watching them grow up, we have less and less control in terms of protecting them from hurt...

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