Sunday, October 04, 2009

Appreciating the differences.


Took Luey grocery shopping with me today. I usually go on my own unless I feel one of the two oldest boys needs some time alone with me - or me with them (usually to suss out stuff, CPO - covert parenting operation)...

So, he wanted to come today, apparently I'd taken Erik the last three times I took someone (I'm sure it wasn't three times, but Luey still suffers from middle child syndrome)...

Used to be, for years after he was born, I thought maybe I liked Luey better than Erik. That sounds appalling, I know, but I like to keep it real, so there it is... Erik was hard work at the time, hyperactive, impulsive, odd, LOL... Luey was sweet and although he had an aggressive streak that Erik has NEVER had, he was very, very NORMAL - very like every other boy I saw around the place, mostly because he was not as impulsive as Erik, and he had the ability to moderate his own excitement levels to those around him (whereas when Erik became overstimulated, the only way to calm was through a MASSIVE meltdown)...

But then Erik hit 7.5 and started to become a lot easier, a lot less likely to become overstimulated and able calm down without a nuclear meltdown.

By then Luey was well and truly entrenched in "middle child trauma" after Bryn's arrival 18 months earlier. Luey had decided the entire world was unfair, and that he ALWAYS drew the short straw. Our golden boy lost a bit of his sheen.

The perpetual "glass half empty" world view Luey had worn me down quite a bit, and so in the past couple of years, it's been a bit hard to see the lovely side of Luey and to appreciate those aspects of his personality that make him so very popular at school and actually quite a likeable companion (on his own).

Today I was reminded that Luey:

  • understands that you can comfortably enjoy someone's company in silence (that is, he doesn't need to talk and fill every moment with runawaytrainofthoughtness).
  • isn't obsessed with the "next thing"; he won't get something and even before finishing it be casting around for what else he can get.
  • stays put when you tell him to stay put, even if you walk out of his line of sight.
  • is actually happy with his lot, even when you expect him not to be.
Sometimes it's very good when you're reminded - as a parent - that you children change over time, even when you're not looking for it...

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Teenagers and the failing parent...