There’s a time in every Mother’s life where they learn that they have to let go and let their children figure it out for themselves. It sometimes happens 12 weeks after having the baby, the broken hearted farewell back to work. Or it happens when you finally leave your kid overnight for the first time. Or it happens when its time to take your child to school. Actually it continues to happen over and over again. And its usually very painful for the parents who are setting their child free to spread their wings and fly.
The other day our neighbor boys knocked on our door asking to play in our backyard. At the mere mention of playing football in the snow with big boys, Drew’s eyes lit up. Drew absolutely LOVES big boys. He would like Mommy to have another baby but it has to be a big brother. Couple that with his obsession of sports and it might as well be Christmas morning!
So I bundle him up – snow pants, hat, gloves with clips, hood, boots. Unfortunately Gabby was napping (unfortunate that I couldn’t have a closer look at him, fortunate that I didn’t have to go out in the cold)so I sent him out to play in the backyard. Two steps out on the deck and he falls face forward – major wipeout! My instinct was to run out, scoop him up and shout my poor baby. But then I remembered that he was about to play with the big boys, so I kept my cool. He picked himself up and charged forward.
He spent the next fifteen minutes following them, pushing them ever so slightly in his efforts to participate in tackle football, all resulting in him stealing their ball. All 6 boys (ranging from 8-12 years of age) stared at him. What do they do? He’s so little. He’s ruining their game. I was getting flashbacks from this summer’s kickball outing. Fortunately, someone came up with the brilliant idea of getting Drew his own Spiderman football (matching his snow boots ever so perfectly).
Drew spent the next ten minutes putzing around with the ball but realizing that football isn’t nearly as much fun when you are playing by yourself. He wanted to come in with the ball but I demanded he return the ball and thank them. He refused to and I told him he would not receive admittance into our house until he had done so. Very begrudgingly he returned the ball and marched back into the house.
When I asked him about what they had played, he told me tackle football. He told me like a kid that had actually played. He told me like a little boy who didn’t even realize that the big boys hadn’t even considered his existence until he stole their ball. He told me like a very innocent baby boy. I guess this is where the term baby steps comes in. Before long Drew will be one of those big boys really playing in the backyard. For now though, he’s just going to snuggle with me while the big boys tackle each other to the ground.
I love this post so much. It is so bittersweet (in this case, more sweet than bitter) to see your babies grow up. I am amazed each time I see Drew and Gabby with all the new things they learn. You don’t notice it Heli, because you are with them each day, but your kiddos are new little people each time I see them. I love them so much, obviously, they came from you and Adam, two of my all time favorite people!
So what you are saying is that the last time you saw Gabby she wasn’t quite the Ninja she is now? And probably the next time you see her she’ll be embracing some other fun new hobby? Thanks Rach…we love you too!!!!!!!!