When our second-born son “graduated” from preschool, the teachers offered an optional parent/teacher meeting to glean their observations about your child’s learning readiness etc. I was pretty curious what his teacher would say, so I signed up with a lot of questions in mind. Two years later, I STILL crack.up.laughing. when I think of what she told me.
He received overall high marks and certainly showed Kindergarten readiness. But her most critical thing that she had to offer me (I asked for it) was that he was “sort of bossy”. I had to bite my lip when she told me this because of all I know about my amazing middle child. She went on to explain how he micromanages the play going on in the room, how he acts as “rules police” to the other students and is quick to point out whenever someone is incorrect (i.e. that girl is saying the ball is blue but that ball is CLEARLY green).
She was so right about him doing those things- and it hasn’t really changed. I’ve read “The Birth Order Book” in hopes to better understand him and to figure out why he acts like he does. I think that the truth is more that he is a child in a home FULL of first-borns (his mother, father and brother all) and until recently, he was the one getting left out of things because he was too young/little to participate.
Those tables are beginning to turn with the addition of his sister (competition) and with some work on instilling more of a “worry-about-yourself” and “take responsibility for your own stuff” ideology for him. I see so much of myself in him and that’s hard! It reminds me how clearly I remember my little sister harping on me that I was SO. BOSSY. when we were growing up. She still laughs and teases me about it.
I’ve embraced my bossiness in a whimsical way and I hope I can teach him to open up that tight fist of control. The hardest lessons I learned were that #1. I can only control my own response and #2. good teachers replicate themselves.
However the challenge for me now is how do my husband and I as parents take this leadership capability and help our son develop those skills so that he can grow from bossy to great leader?
From where we sit right now, I think all the glory will have to go to God. Parenting is one doozie of a journey!
This weekend our friends from “way back when” were in town. These are always my favorite kind of visits. Somebody from the old crew puts out an apb on the Facebook saying “We’re coming into town and we want to see you guys!”. We gather ourselves and our prodigy and hang out for a few precious hours filled with laughter and chaos, (remember the prodigy) and then it’s all over until next time. Summer seems to be a great time for these reunions too because this is the second of three that will be occurring before school starts.
These particular friends go back to those early years when we were all friends, we weren’t necessarily even dating yet. But in our arsenal of memories we have mission trips to Haiti and Mexico, high school hijinks, laser tag games in a huge church after hours, weddings, baby showers and lots of moves.
Last night with the Wagners, we all tried to figure out timelines by chopping up years in accordance with the event they occurred as we tried to figure out when this happened and where. We figured out that they actually became parents after we’d already moved out to Washington and they had moved to Houston. So we’d never actually KNOWN them as parents.
That makes a big difference.
See there is this hilarious phenomenon that occurs when you have your group of friends who’ve hung out since singleness and through the dating/marriage years. All the sudden these babies come on the scene and the people you knew change. (And you thought you knew them….) For a while there can be awkwardness as you adjust to the way they’ve chosen to parent their kiddos. In the worst case scenarios, you even come to the conclusion that maybe the distance should grow between some of those friendships because YIKES! (Oh stop! Don’t even say that’s mean or not how it should be; because it’s totally true!)
It’s one of those times now that’s really fun for me to watch as new parents navigate their style of parenting and then adjust, adjust and adjust. While it may sound like this horrible truth, I think it’s an excellent personal growth experience (as are most lessons related to children and parenting). It pushes you toward intentional parenting and I don’t think that’s ever a bad thing.
As we embraced our friends and left last night I told them, “I wish we had become parents together and were still doing life around you guys, because I like the way you guys do things!”. It was so fun and refreshing to see our friends as parents. It even highlighted how much we all enjoyed each other in years past.
Until next time Wagners! We had so much fun with you guys!