Tag Archives: relationships

Growing

This past week, I’ve seen some great changes in my oldest son’s behavior. And the best part is, I didn’t have to tell him to do it.

John is almost 14, and this year at co-op he’s made a lot of new friends. Between his old friends, co-op friends, and scout friends, he’s been invited to a lot of events recently, from birthday parties to air soft parties to just hanging out for an afternoon. The result: his attention had often turned away from doing things with his siblings to preparing for the next get-together.

Part of me understood that this was a natural occurrence with growing up and moving into adolescence, but part of me was saddened by the change in the relationships, especially that with his six-year-old brother. “Play with Luke. He looks up to you,” I would say. John would be obedient, and do what I asked — but I felt discouraged that I even had to ask.

That is, until a couple of days ago. I was walking through the house, when John called me over. “Watch this, ” he said as Luke stood beside him, grinning from ear to ear. “This is ‘Man-Fighting.'” The two then began to wrestle on the floor, rolling around and punching each other. Finally Luke pinned John down and told him to say “uncle.”

Then, yesterday at the pool, Luke was swimming around in the shallow end by himself. John had been jumping and diving in the deep end, when suddenly he came up to Luke and started playing a game with him. Luke shrieked and laughed in delight the whole time.

Last night, Luke decided to make up an obstacle course in the yard. He had placed several objects in a line, such as pieces of wood, sticks, balls, etc., and the goal was to run and jump over them as quickly as possible. I did it once, my husband did it once, and then John came out; he did it over and over again with Luke, as they raced together, fell down together, and laughed together.

What caused the change? I’m not sure, but I’m so thankful for it. Instead of reminding John to be kind to Luke, I can just smile and tell him what a great job I think he’s doing. Must be a sign that he’s growing up.

I Love You Bigger – Part 2

heart

A while ago, I wrote about the “I Love You Bigger” game. My youngest child Luke (age 5) and I play the game every now and then. I begin by saying, “I love you bigger than a tree,” and he would replies with something like, “I love you bigger than a house.” Throughout the game I try to choose larger and larger objects, although he often just chooses whatever comes to mind first.

The other night, while we were snuggling on the couch watching television, Luke started our game again. I was surprised, because we hadn’t played it for a while.

“Mom, I love you more than….” He paused. “….more than …vegetables!”

Now, I know Luke does not like vegetables, and I wondered just where this was going. So I said, “I love you more than…kitty litter.”

Luke smiled and thought for a moment. “I love you more than garbage.”

“Ooooo,” I said. “That’s a tough one to beat. I love you more than a squished bug.”

“Oooo,” he repeated. “Well, I love you more than… blood on a dead bird.” Okay, now I’m beginning to wonder what he and his sisters have been looking at outside.

“That’s gross!” I exclaimed. “I love you more than… a dried up worm.”

Luke was quiet for just a minute. “Well, I love you more than a dead fox.”  I wasn’t sure why we were focusing on road kill, but he soon came back with another one. “And I love you more than a giant beetle.”

I took that one. “I’m so glad!” I said as we laughed, and we went back to watching the show.

Then he laughed again. “Now you can put that on Facebook!” he said.

“You’re right!” I answered. Ah well — my little boy is growing up!

Time with Friends

DSC_9545For the last couple of years, my children have done quite a few extracurricular activities: P.E. class once or twice a week, a literature class once a month, FCA club meeting twice a month, scouts, music lessons, art classes, and holiday parties. We saw the same friends sometimes two or three times a week, and they enjoyed being together. This year, though, that group has gone in many different directions, and we haven’t seen some of those friends since school started back.

I’m not worried about my children’s socialization — they’ve been meeting new people this year as they’ve attended co-op classes. We still have some friends over to our house once a week for art lessons, and that’s a lot of fun. But as the saying goes, old friends are like gold, and I don’t want my children to lose touch with the friends they’ve spent so much time with in the past.

So today, I made the 30-minute trip back to our old P.E. class. The P.E. class was re-arranged this year so younger children play games during the first hour while older students play during the second hour. My oldest, John, was the one who wanted to participate the most, so we went for the second hour.

And it was really good. The girls, Luke, and I went to a friend’s house who lives nearby; her girls and younger sons weren’t doing P.E. that hour, so all of them had a great time playing together inside. Another friend whose older sons were also in PE stopped by with her daughter, and it turned out to be a very relaxing visit. And John had the opportunity to play soccer with friends he hadn’t seen in a while either.

On the way home, I asked them if the trip was worth it. A resounding “YES!” went up from everyone else in the car. We won’t be able to go every week, but when we can, we’ll make the effort to get there. It’s an investment of a little more time and a little more gasoline, but I’m sure it will have a big return as the relationships continue to grow.