Colin is cruising and climbing all over everything. He’s so close to walking – I think he knows what he needs to do, it’s just a matter of his body catching up with his brain. The way he’s been eating and sleeping lately, I don’t think it will be too long until it does. I took this video last Sunday at the Museum of Natural History, appropriately in the Hall of Evolution. This kid has places to go.
Here he is fascinated by the lawn sprinkler, and the neighbors lawn mower.
Tommy will be starting first grade in the Fall. As astounding as it is to watch Colin’s developmental leaps and bounds, that statement simply floors me. It’s easy to forget that a kid who can make his own breakfast, get himself dressed, and use the bathroom by himself is still growing and developing every day.
Tommy experienced (possibly his first) major public embarrassment last week at our summer party. Kids he likes and admires laughed at him and he was left standing in the backyard so mortified he couldn’t move. I took him to his room to talk where his embarrassment turned to anger towards me. “You are the worst mother and you are ruining this party for me and you are mean to me….!” A rather long tirade that left me pretty speechless. I sent his dad in to see if he could talk to Tommy and then his anger turned inward, “Nobody likes me and nobody wants to play with me and I AM THE WORST PART OF THIS PARTY.” Eventually his dad calmed him down enough to come back outside. His friends, who had been checking on his well-being, asked him to come play and the incident seemed to be forgotten. But there have been other spectacular tantrums that seem to come from nowhere and leave Rick and I thinking “What just happened?”
Last night started out well. The baby cruised and climbed all over everything and Tommy watched some TV and then wrote/drew in his journal. I went upstairs to put Colin to bed and when I came back down Tommy was sobbing and his dad was shrugging, “I just told him to get ready for bed.” I took Tommy up to the bathroom and encouraged him to talk. He finally choked out “I miss Grandma and Pappy.” He had visited his grandparents during the day since his summer camp was closed due to the heat. They spent the day packing for a cruise they leave for on Monday. “It’s just like their other vacations, they’ll be back soon.” More crying. “Something bad is going to happen to them.” No, no, why would you say that? “Something bad happened where they are going.”
Tommy’s grandparents are cruising the North and Baltic seas, and their first port is Oslo. CNN must have been on in the background.
I remember my first public embarrassment. I was in gym class in first grade and the teacher asked, “What’s the safest way to fall?” I piped up “Oh your hands!” Boy in class (gym teacher’s kid) shouted out “NO IT’S NOT, IT’S ON YOUR BUM.” Gym teacher praised her kid and class laughed. I was pretty mortified. If I acted out at all, I probably cried, but I think I mostly internalized that embarrassment. I played it over and over in my head and became more cautious about speaking out in class. I didn’t like giving the wrong answer. Still don’t.
First time having a sense that the world might not be a safe place? That was probably the Challenger tragedy. I was nearly twice as old as Tommy is now when I watched the space shuttle explode live on television. I think it’s unfair that my son’s sense of safety has been shaken so young, and I say this selfishly. I do not know how to parent through this. I do not know what to say to my kid. Last night we opted for reassurance. His grandparents are safe. We are safe. That won’t happen again. That can’t happen here. I hope these things remain true, at least until he is 18.
Here I am. I turned 37 last Thursday. I only seem to be growing wider. Possibly a little bit wiser. Although if I really am getting wiser, I would have known that a half sheet cake is way too much cake.