Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Tell me when I'm grown

Today something totally unexpected happened. My little guy text me after school and said something along the lines of 'mum I didn't get on the bus to come home. I decided to go to the park with my friend and her parent, I'll catch the later bus'.

He is 10 ... (nearly 11)

After a back and forth re details I spent a very long hour waiting for him to get home and while I waited I tried to figure out what to say.

I knew that a massive part of my response should be 'you little bugger don't you EVER do that again'

But I was torn, because a huge part of my internal response was, how cool is it that he feels so confident!

This is the stuff that isn't in books and it's impossible to know how to best respond or what you'll do until you're faced with it. It's stuff like this, that is parenting in a nutshell.

I could ask for advice, and get opinions but tonight as I sit here (with my child safely home FYI) I know with certainty if you had asked me for advice yesterday I would have said 'that is totally inappropriate' 'you need to make sure that doesn't happen again'

'what if ........ what if'

And I would have been right.

But that certainly of what you 'would' do is often so different than your response when you actually are doing it.

So now that I was in this weird space where my 10 year old felt like it was cool to just head off and do his own thing how much of my response should be in plan a. You little bugger, and how much should I balance that with the part of this that was him feeling confident and safe and independent, a part of him I don't want to squash but need him to regulate.

As he walked into the house there was this look on his face. He hadn't done this for any other reason than he knew he was safe and believed it was all ok.

So at that moment I knew what to say. It went something like;

'Hey babes, did you have fun? I'm glad, hey I need to let you know you aren't in trouble but I want to talk to you about what to do if an offer like this comes up in the future .... blah blah blah .... mostly next time because you are 10 I want you to ask me, not tell me!'

Was this the right thing to say? Honestly, fucked if I know! But this week seems to have been all about talking to both boys about their individuality, their and my freedom of self, the place they hold in our space, how I'm trying to grow the best, strongest, happiest men they can be. And mostly how as a unit of three we can make our lives work together so we all give each other that space to grow and be as happy as possible. Also cuddles ... lots and lots of cuddles.

Jesus parenting is intense....

In the end his response was filled with empathy for the worry that it caused and excitement for the adventure he had. So all I can hope is that somehow we manage to keep that balance through all of our mistakes and what comes out at the end is always cuddles.

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