I have been sitting here reflecting on my now 3 year old. I remember back to last year when he was turning two, I wanted to write a two year post about him. But I couldn't. Him turning two was hard. Like really, really hard-hard.
I was in a place of feeling frustration and deep inadequacy as I tried to figure him out. The exhaustion that I felt got the better of me, and made me unable to figure out how to put Bennett into words.
And I regret that. I regret it so much. Because Bennett is......Bennett. It's who he is, the fighter of the flow. The, I'm not doing it because you want me to do, I will do it when I want to do it--and how I want to. If you say jump, he sits. If you say peanut butter and honey, he says jelly and pickles.
But it's also what makes him unique, special, and an honest little being to a fault. He says what he means, and means what he says. While every day is a constant work on my part to learn who he is and how to best parent him. I'm also learning that the things that are the hardest for me right now, are the things I love the most about him.
They are the things that are going to make him move mountains as he grows older. And I have no doubt in my mind that he will do just that. he move them and then probably turn around and move them again.
I wish I could have said that last year. But to be honest, it has taken me this whole past year to figure him out. Not that I didn't know or love every single thing about him. I did. And I would have fought lions and alligators to protect him, to prove my love to him. And in a way, I did.
I fought lion sized tempers, and snappy, alligator personalities. And stubborn as a mule persuasive techniques. I battled it all. And it has been worth it, every moment--the good and the bad.
We are still pieces of clay, being molded every day. And I'm learning more and more how his heart and soul tick.
I actually read an article a friend had posted on her timeline about "spirited" children. And I was laughing and whimpering all the same time. Because I could not have described my Bennett any better. Especially the part about spirited kids have "perseverance, for perseverance, for perseverance.....for perseverance." Finally, there were legible words into understanding my little boy.
Oh my. If he could win an Olympic medal for perseverance, he would take home gold.
Apparently "spirited" children have issues with sleep. Um, yeah...just a little. While he has improved drastically in sleeping, it's the getting him to sleep that currently deems to be the biggest battle. We have tried everything--EVERYTHING! Right now we are attempting the love and logic approach of letting him play quietly in his room until he is tired. Only he doesn't stay in his room and he doesn't play quietly. I'm constantly putting him back in bed, only to have him on my heels as I head back to the door. Over and over again we play this sweet little merry-go-round. Have I mentioned he makes me crazy sometimes? My patience runs very thin by the time night arrives, and sadly it's when I make the most parenting mistakes with him.
This was the night I gave up trying to get him to stay in his bed. I took him downstairs and let him play with his blocks. Then I sat on the couch staring at him, and falling in love with him and who he is, all over again. Just as intense as the moment when I met him for the very first time.
Just when you think your gonna blow steam out of every end, he wraps his arms around our neck, kisses your face and says, "I wuv you so much mom" and goes to sleep. Sometimes, or sometimes he just fights it until the sun comes up, an dad falls asleep on the floor next to him. But he always wakes up with a twinkle in his eye, and could fool you into thinking he had the most restful sleep.
We are pretty sure he is a lefty, we laugh about this and the joke is, "of course he is" because again, Must.Swim.Against.The.Flow.
With all of that said, deep between the hard and the stubborn, there is this brilliant little being. One who is a born leader. Who brings life and brightness to every room, once he emerges from his shell.
He is silly. He is sweet. He is witty. He is creative.
He has such an imagination. And I can often find him playing with his
lego "mans" . The other day he named them, "c-balls" and "dindint". His
stretchy lizard named "jeanus" came with us to the doctor the other
He likes to entertain. Rock on little one.
This boy has the ability to make me go from crying to belly laughing in one fell swoop. Out of all my boys (that I can see right now) he speaks my love language the best. He needs affection, to be held, kissed, and one on one attention. He is observant and is usually the first to compliment me on an outfit, and ALWAYS notices when I wear something new. He knows how to make his mama feel special and pretty. His future wife is going to be one lucky lady.
"Carry me mom" or "hold me mom" fall often from his lips. I'm usually quick to oblige, because soon he will be way way too cool for his mama's arms.
He is adventurous. A risk taker. A heart stopper. I will almost put a guarantee that he will be the first to have a broken bone.
He has ruined more things than all my boys combined. I find things shredded, in pieces, painted on, upside down and splattered with smoothie.
He managed to get paint all over his brother's face, I was right next to him...yet, he still managed.
He is curious about everything and likes cause and effect. My sister always says he will be the one I come home to and find him with my computer or TV completely disassembled, simply because curiosity got the best of him and he wanted to see how it worked. He notices things that most don't. like a board nailed to a deck to patch a hole, without missing a beat he will reach down and try to rip it off.
Curiosity, it gets the best of him some days.
Like stuffing brother's brand new beanie baby in the toilet and flushing it....
He's capable. Always capable, even when he isn't, because he THINKS he is.
For what he lacks in weight, he makes up for in determination. He is not a push-over. And if you make him mad he just might whip out his claws (literally, ask Cole.....) Or his fangs. (parents of biters, we kindly ask for your expertise.....) he will win in a wrestling match, even if you are twice his size.
But for every ounce of spunk, there is equal amounts of timidness. Which is why I often refer to him as polar opposite. If he doesn't know you, or he is in the midst of a big group of people. Don't expect him to make more than a peep or eye contact for that matter. He gets flustered and blushed and will make a bee line for the comfort of me or his dad.
But if his brother is by his side, his confidence is boosted dramatically. Sweet Cole still goes to Sunday school class with the 2 and 3 year olds because Bennett doesn't want to go alone.
Kyle and I always talk and dream what our boys will be like as they get older. we both agree that Bennett will most likely be adored by all. He will be the life of the party (in a good way). People will be drawn to him. He is charming and funny and sweet and clever. Such a charismatic little dude. He will probably tell you like it is, and won't leave anyone guessing what he's thinking. If you make it into his world, you will stay there forever. He is fiercely loyal and loving (when he wants to be).
He is going to go far in this world. I just know it. Which is why I keep telling myself to keep on paddling these murky waters of discipline and teaching. He has so much to offer this world, with all his spunk and personality he will be like a beacon of light when the days get dark.
Already he's shining brightly, he made the decision to follow Jesus this year. And asks to talk about "Desus" a lot. Especially when trying to avoid bed time. He told me the other day he was going to miss me when I went to "heppin" (heaven). He likes to set up his stuffed animals as his church, lead praise and worship and give a message from his Bible. But if you talk during his message (Cole) you might get yelled at, or have a guitar thrown your way. He runs a strict congregation.
Oh, my Bennett. Please don't ever change, always stay true to yourself. These years are difficult for me, but I'm seeing more and more how worth it they are. You are a blessing, a jewel, and diamond in the rough. God has big big plans for you and your personality. How I pray you set your determination on a one-way track towards the straight and narrow. Don't let anyone squelch your fire, spunk, and tender little heart. Let God be your compass. And together you will do great things.
If I could put into words my love for you, I would need many many more pages. YOU are AMAZING. You light up my world in ways I never could have imagined. I will never tire of your kisses. How I look forward to seeing what mountains you decide to conquer and move. May they be mountains that will lead to great things, things that point many to Jesus. How I hope you always remember the decision you made, that you will keep it tucked in your heart so tightly that it will overflow for the world to see.
Lavish this world with your love and accept the love that will be reciprocated. Be you. Always be you. Don't fall into the lie of fitting into someone else's mold.
Be you. Always.
I love you, forever. Even when my brow is furrowed and I've got my mean mom face on, behind that is a fierce love that can't be touched.
Remember that, my love for you will never change or waver. NO MATTER WHAT.
I love you, my Bennett boy.