Our 5 year old is pretty easy to read. He’s outgoing, friendly and loves to talk. His philosophy seems to be that if it’s on his mind, it just needs to be said. We didn’t do a lot of ‘baby talk’ with him in the beginning, so his vocabulary is quite large and he sometimes sounds like someone much older. He tells it like it is and when he does, I like to keep him talking to see what else is going on in that little blonde head of his.
Yesterday, I picked him up from daycare and on the way to the car he tried to kill a wasp by stepping on it. When he picked his foot up, it jumped up and flew away. He immediately went into a drawn out explanation for wanting to step on it and why he was irritated that it didn’t die.
“We don’t need wasps in this whole wide world,” he huffed.
Trying to get him to elaborate even further, I asked, “We don’t? Well, what do we need?”
He took that long, deep breath that is usually followed by an in depth explanation of every aspect of the answer to my question and then let out one simple sentence that I can’t get off my mind.
“All we need is sunshine and Christmas!”
Of course the first thing that came to mind was how incredibly cute it sounded and then I giggled a little because ‘sunshine’ and ‘Christmas’ are really kind of opposite. One came from way out in right field and the other was pulled from the left. Both are happy, fun things, but we experience them at completely different times of the year. The connection was refreshing and made me proud.
Then me, being who I am, I had to analyze it further to find some deep, psychological meaning in those seven words that flowed so easily from my young son’s brain to his vocal cords. Not only did it flow, it seemed to sum up everything so well in his mind that he didn’t feel the need to go into detail. I guess that’s what really set this statement apart for me. In my overly vocal little boy’s world, this one sentence seemed to say it all.
I’ve wondered a lot about what kind of mother I really am and if I am doing and giving the things that he needs.
A lot has changed in our lives since I first looked into those beautiful, blue eyes five and half years ago. Our first three years were pretty tough. We went through some really rough stuff until things turned around about two years ago. I have wondered what the impact of all that would be on him. I’ve wondered a lot about what kind of mother I really am and if I am doing and giving the things that he needs. I wonder if I work too much and if I spend enough time teaching him the little things that we take for granted but he doesn’t yet understand. Have I been so wrapped up in fixing our surroundings that I’ve forgotten to do all those vitally important things that Moms are supposed to do?
I have finally realized that the deep meaning in those seven words is not what he said, it’s what he didn’t say. He didn’t say that he needed food or love or even a place to feel safe. His thoughts were not centered on needing family or friends. Sure he loves Christmas for the toys. All kids do, but he wasn’t saying he needed this specific toy or that one. He was also referring to the time we spend putting up the Christmas tree and visiting the Live Nativity with all the animals every year. He didn’t even say he needed the beach, though that’s what the sunshine part is really all about. He loves being outside and especially in the water.
He didn’t say those things, because he already has them all. He was really saying that the only things he needs, are the right conditions to do all the things that he enjoys most. He already has the confidence to feed the donkey at the nativity and wade out into the ocean. He just needs Christmas time so the donkey will be there and sunshine so the weather will be warm enough to go to the beach. He has his health and happiness, his love and family and all the basic necessities of human life. He has those things because his Dad and I have given him what he needs.
So, once again, our little man has taught his Mommy a lesson…or a few lessons. He taught me to listen to him because he will gladly tell me what he needs. I am also reminded to stop being so critical of my parenting skills. He is doing just fine. He is more than fine. Probably the most important thing he taught me was to stop spending so much time analyzing everything he says and more time taking pictures and soaking in the memories of his childhood because these years will be gone before I know it.