The kid who is too loud and winds up the in principal’s office every week for acting up — and who is kind and loyal to his friends, hugs you tight at bedtime, and tells you that you are the best mom…and means it. That wonderful kid!
You know the one I mean.
The one who is always being sent to the principal’s office for some random offense.
The one who tells his teachers what he thinks.
The one who acts out in class and gets bored standing in lines, and who is too loud on the bus.
The one who gets too excited at family gatherings and runs outside in his underwear on a warm summer evening when it is raining.
Yes, that kid.
The one who will happily draw a series of risque drawings when egged by friends. Because it is silly and fun and he is always out to please. The one who passes a soccer ball to you and manages to break an overhead light in the process. The one who fidgets in class and spills water all over his project.
The one who comes home and asks, “Why am I the one always getting into trouble when I say how I feel… instead of talking behind the teacher’s back?”
The kid whose opinion annoys others — because he challenges the status quo with insight that others couldn’t even dream to have, and who makes others question themselves and stiffen their backs, because they don’t like to be challenged.
You watch, and you can feel opinions and judgments coming off of others — the sideways glances, the “I’ll get back to you” texts when you invite other kids to hang out with him. You also feel your Mama Bear bristles stiffening on the back of your neck, to the point where you want to scream, “But he is so good!”
Then you doubt yourself — the kind of parent you are — and if you are doing it right. Some days you feel like a failure.
And yet you know your kid.
You know he is good, kind, and decent.
You know he is the kind of kid who would never rat out a friend, steal, or cheat.
You know he is the kind of kid who is loyal to his friends, even when they aren’t loyal to him.
You know he is the kind of kid who hugs you tight at bedtime, even though he’s older now, and who tells you he loves you, and that you are the best mom… and means it.
And you know he is the kind of kid who ends up comforting you when you doubt yourself.
So what do you do if you have that kid?
You trust your instincts.
You listen to your gut.
You stop worrying about what others think of him — and you.
You laugh with him and get silly and share everything, and know that the kind of relationship that you have with him is absolutely precious.
You thank God or the Universe or the Powers That Be for giving him to you.
And you trust yourself.
You believe that you are doing a great job as a mom.
You remind yourself that life is long, and today is just today.
You believe, and never doubt, in what he will become…what he already is.
You allow yourself to just love him, unconditionally, everyday, fully and completely.