Little Man

My sweet little boy. You are really struggling right now. It’s sort of like all of your emotions have settled into your heart and you don’t know how to decipher one from the other. Every little thing that goes awry is a huge meltdown. You’ve gone from a really easy going little guy to a huge emotional mess. We have said recently that your emotions are similar to those of a PMSing 13 year old girl.

I’m not sure what’s going on with you, or why everything is such a big to-do these days. I just wish I knew how to make it easier for you. It seems to be coinciding with your growing awareness that you aren’t quite yet a “big boy.” I’m grateful basketball season is over if only for the fact that it will allow us to find you an activity where they don’t find it acceptable to throw 4 yr. olds in with 8 yr. olds and call you equals. Sure, you might be able to make as many baskets as they can, but if we had known up front that you’d be the smallest and the youngest in the whole entire league we might have had you wait another year.

You are such a smart and talented little boy. You are reading, almost completely on your own now. You need relatively little help in figuring words out, and it’s a complete and total joy to watch your face light up when you read all on your own. Your athletic skills are head and shoulders above your 4 ½ years. You make baskets, you throw a football in a spiral, you can field a baseball at first base and throw it back to the catcher like you were a high school kid.

But you so badly want to be a big boy. At the pizza party for your basketball team the other day it was so heartbreakingly evident that while you might have the athletic skills of the 7 and 8 year olds, your social skills are still very much those of a kindergartener. And that’s ok, because you’re only 4, but it’s so hard to watch your face when the other little boys sort of give you a cursory “hi” but don’t really spend much time with you. You try so hard.

I’m sorry little man. I’m sorry if we put you in something that you weren’t ready for. We didn’t intend for it to be something that would be hard. And you seemed to have so much fun and are so proud of yourself, but I think the unintended consequence is that some of the social anxieties might have hit you before you were ready.

Mommy is trying really hard to figure out how to make things easier for you. I know I might be frustrated sometimes, but it’s only because I hate that you are so upset so much recently. I will try harder to help you navigate things. I love you my little man, and I promise, you will be a big boy soon enough. Too soon if mommy is honest with you. Too soon you won’t be calling me from your room just to tell me “I love you, so so so much.” Hold on to 4 for a little bit longer. Mommy’s not ready for 5 and everything that goes with it just yet.

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3 thoughts on “Little Man

  1. Oh, K, this is so beautiful. And it reminds me a little of my childhood, when my parents decided to put me in first grade right after I’d turned five, bypassing kindergarten. It all went pretty smoothly until 7th grade, when suddenly, to borrow your term, I wasn’t becoming a big girl when everyone else was, and therefore (or so I interpreted it) I fell off the social map, and pretty much stayed that way until I went to France for a year (and held myself back) when I was 15. My parents told me that they had just done what seemed to be the right thing for me at the time, and expressed how hard it is to know what will work for your child. You’re a great mom.

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