As a parent, there are many proud moments we have in life. The first time our child walks, says "Mom" and "Dad" or rides a bike with no training wheels. Some of these proud moments represent milestones that eventually most children will accomplish in life and we are proud when that time occurs. There are other proud moments as a parent though that represent more than them reaching a milestone in growth, but rather a milestone in character. Lately I have been having some proud moments for my little boy who just turned four years old, Blaise.
He wrote his name without any help for the first time.
He knows most of his colors finally.
He knows that cheese comes from milk, and milk from cows.
He knows if most vegetables or fruits grow from the ground or tree.
He knows how to ride his bike REALLY fast and fearlessly down the hills in our neighborhood.
He knows we don't eat the candy at Chuckie Cheese's because it's got "yucky" stuff in it that take away our super powers.
He knows we always say prayers before we eat our meals.
He wants fresh spinach salad for lunch.
There are many things he does not know that makes me proud as a parent too:
He does not know what M&M's are.
He does not know what junky cereal is called or what it tastes like.
He does not know what fast food tastes like anymore (yes, we did give him some before we knew better years back).
He does not know what it is like to want to buy something because the television told him it was a good thing to buy.
You see, my little boy is growing up differently then I ever expected because it is not how I grew up, but I am seeing so many benefits of the choices we are making for healthy food, activity as a family and monitoring their media sources. But am I letting him live in a bubble that will soon be popped once he gets into the "real world"? No. He is reaping the benefits of knowing why we do or don't do an action. Is it hard sometimes to say no? Yes. But I can finally see that he is learning, understanding and embracing his own identity as a big brother and little man in our family.
My proudest moments lately though:
When he still runs up to me and hugs me and says "I love you" for no reason besides that he does.
When he lets his little sister knock down the block castle he's made even after it took him so long.
When he takes an hour to complete a 100 piece puzzle, makes hundreds of mistakes to get it done, but still finishes and sees his beautiful accomplishment.
When he genuinely forgives and still loves his sister for biting or hitting him over and over again.
My favorite - When he does the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
I can see his character growing in such a way that makes me so proud as a mother, but also teaches me lessons in my own character development. It lets me know we must be doing something right, just not sure what, but that all our sacrifices to make positive, healthy decisions every day are worth it. I only hope and pray that all of us will always maintain the positive, loving, determined, sincere and compassionate character that Blaise has. I am proud of him and pray that whatever we are doing right we continue to do. I do have one hope though - that maybe his character will rub off a little on his cranky, but cute, little terrible-two's sister!