The Fabulous Fours

31

September 12, 2013 by Katia

I will always remember this summer, I got to spend at home enjoying the last days of my maternity leave and being fully available to my children. 1 Year Old won’t, but I’m curious to see what leaves its mark on 4 Year Old. I’m constantly surprised, sometimes blown away by the unexpected and random quality of his memories. I don’t know why listening to your child recreate an event in his mind, whether one you’ve participated in or not, is one of the most fascinating and gratifying parenty moments, but it is.

***

Surprisingly enough my extroverted firecracker of a boy who attended different child care settings since the age of one and never had any issues, is having a difficult time adjusting to Junior Kindergarten. On the first day of school he raised his eyes to me from underneath his wide rimmed sun hat and I saw something unfamiliar in them. It was a question mark but not of the inquisitive, curious kind. It was a flustered, ‘asking for’ instead of just ‘asking’ kind of a question mark. ‘Are you going to leave?’ he said in a small voice, part incredulous and part outraged at the thought. His voice was shaking. This is where I would kneel in front of my son had it been a Hollywood movie and our eyes would lock as we would have a heart to heart about first days in school. Instead I was struggling to remain calm as I explained what was going to happen. I was raising my voice over the first day chaos surrounding us. I was raising it above the teacher’s instructions. I was almost yelling my consolation at him and rushing it. I was doing it through the lump in my own throat. 4 Year Old was urged to do a whole bunch of things that didn’t come naturally. Wear your backpack. Line up. Walk away from your mommy and toward the building. I saw his shoulders tense up and rise to his ears. Then his expression changed as his whole body and face were becoming engaged in the battle against tears. Then from inside the building he looked at me and melted into his shoulders as he pulled at his teacher’s sleeve. ‘Excuse me,” he said and broke down in tears ‘I love my mommy’.

This new heart wrenching raised shoulders routine repeated itself every day since. He asks to be held and wraps himself around me. He tells me things that send my heart soaring and sinking at the same time like ‘But mama, I talk about you all day!’

Yesterday I was putting him to bed, lying there with him and listening as he pondered existential questions. ‘Mom, when I die will I be held by God?’ he asks and his voice is shaky again.

‘Does EVERYONE die?’

‘Will I die?’

He doesn’t want to die. He wants me to ask God not to let anything happen to him or anyone in his family. I talk to God right then and there. I’m not using my inner voice either. But he is still on the verge of tears. He doesn’t accept my explanation that dying is only for very very VERY old people. He tells me:

‘But if I die, everyone won’t have any fun without me’.

I tell him he is absolutely right. I’m stretching my brain at full capacity but it feels like a severely untrained muscle as I attempt to take the edge off death and its cousin – school goodbyes. I do a mental inventory check of my parental toolbox and finally pull out the “distraction” wrench.

“Hey, remember how we went to the cottage this summer?”.

A feeble “Yeah?” ensues and it’s of the curious, interested ‘OK, I’ll bite’ kind.

‘I remember feeding the ducks!’ I tell him in my most cheerful voice. He is engaged. And I continue full force:

‘Remember, how there were two of them, a boy and a girl and you would throw bread crumbs to them?’

‘Yeah, but I also throwed them at the one who was trying to steal from the other one, renember? Renember that mama? And then you said to him, no no no! And waved your finger, renember?’

Now I do. I wrap my arms around him and plant my face in his shoulder. We’re both laughing.

July 2013 220

***

On Monday I wrote a post about the F-ing Fours, which scared a lot of parents. This is the Flip side of the same coin. I hope you Find consolation in this. The Fabulous Fours.

July 2013 218

***

This post was a Finish The Sentence Friday post on the topic: The best memory I will have of this summer…

Make sure to visit our wonderful hosts. When I grow up, I want to be them.

Stephanie at Mommy, For Real

Kristi, woohoo! at Finding Ninee

Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic

Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine?

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31 thoughts on “The Fabulous Fours

  1. Was crying reading this, because both my girls just started pre-school this week and I was more of an emotional wreck then either of then (well at least the 4 year old). The almost 3 year old was a bit more sad on the first day. She never cried, but was told that looked as though she wanted to and hung close to the assistant teacher that first day. Day 2 went better, but still I am a little lost without them needing me while I try to finish my work in the afternoons as crazy as that sounds. Thanks as always Katia for linking up with us!!!

    • Katia says:

      I totally get how lost you feel Janine. Sometimes when Daniel, 1 year old, is being taken away for a walk by his grandma who is visiting I am totally confused as to what I do next. Thank you so much for your very kind words and it’ll get better for your girls, I promise.

  2. You. What a perfect, perfect memory. And a perfect, perfect followup to the Fours post. This one was fabulous. So was that one. For real. For always. I want you to copy and paste this whole post and print it out so that both 1yo and 4yo remember it and have it forever.

  3. How? HOW do you do this to me? I just don’t have words for how that post affected me. I too had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, just reading it. You capture the rawness of motherhood so perfectly.

  4. You make being a mom sound so special and amazing. It’s nice to read. But its making me want to hold a little baby in my own arms!

  5. I had some idea that you were going to make me smile knowingly but instead you just made me cry in a Starbucks. Thanks a lot, friend. ;-)

    Just kidding – I loved this post, as I love all of your posts. These are the moments you will renember. :)

  6. Oh, Katia. Beautiful. This was an incredible counter-post to your other four year old post. It broke my heart and made me want to drive to my son’s preschool and pick him up immediately. Little boys can drive you almost to the brink of insanity, but then they can make your heart soar, all in the course of about 10 minutes.

  7. basicallyb says:

    Such a super sweet little boy. I remember asking such deep questions as him when I was around his age. I’ll have to remember to distract him w/ a happier memory like you did. I love how your favorite memory of this summer was something so simple like feeding the ducks. No internet, no distractions. I’m sure he’ll say it’s one of his favorite memories too when he’s older.

  8. Oh it’s so heartbreaking to see our kids hurt and ache. It’s the worst thing; it tears you up. I remember crying every day when my dad would drop me off at preschool. I imagine I enjoyed myself later in the day, but every morning was difficult…probably even more so for my dad. Thanks for linking up!

  9. Sarah says:

    Wow, such grown up questions! It’s so hard to explain things like that to them…

    And the drop offs and tears? I remember with Abby it was three full weeks without tears (but that’s when she was much younger.) good luck to you mama. You’re doing great :)

  10. When my oldest was three, she went through a period when she was very curious about and afraid of death. She was afraid that my husband and I would die and wanted to know who would take care of her. Recently, my six year old has been asking questions. She thinks it ia unfair that some relatives (grandparents, etc.) passed away before she was born and she has been asking a lot of questions about Heaven. It is so hard to talk to them about it and answer their questions appropriately!

  11. nataliedeyoung says:

    Oh my. I’m not a parent, but I teared up reading this. What a special little man you have there. I may be scared to have children, but the moment you just described is one of the reasons I still want them, despite my fears.
    Gorgeous, Katia.

    • Katia says:

      Thank you, this is a huge compliment, Natalie.You’re all heart. You’re creative, sensitive and attentive which will make you a great mom when you decide to become one :-)

  12. Sarah Almond says:

    These two posts were brilliant. A whole “it was the best of the times, it was the worst of times” take on parenting. You know how to grab the reader’s attention and keep them hooked Katia!

  13. Oh, bless his little heart. And yours, mama. You two are perfect together. I know every mom and child is supposed to be that way, but it’s just beyond the case with the two of you. It’s so clear.

  14. […] This was the summer that I got to spend at home enjoying the last days of my maternity leave and being fully available to my children. I will always remember this summer.  […]

  15. Nina Badzin says:

    The the idea of a post/counter-post to yourself. And great points on both sides!

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