I have a boy.
I'm not one to gender discriminate or gender socialize...ok. well, I try not to at least. Sis's room was green! With a massive tree painted on one wall. And despite our efforts she introduces herself (recently to people she sees on a regular basis and know her well) as 'Brooklyn the Princess'. However, we still try to be fair. We encourage her to play baseball and kick a soccer ball around. When she is doing something hard, say trying to climb the webbing at the park I encourage her from below with 'You are a strong girl. You can do it! Look, you are such a strong girl you are doing it!' And when she is well-behaved and holding it together when I know she is stressed out and tired and asks for a nap (!!! never happens but did on mothers day!!) so she can have some down time by herself I applaud her with the same refrain 'I am so proud of you. You are such a strong girl!' And when we are hiking in the awesome 80 degree weather we are currently having and Sis is wearing snow boots bc she thinks of them as her 'hiking' boots and she trips and stumbles on a log and scrapes her knee up the worst she has as of yet and I say 'That is such a bummer! I'm sorry it happened. You are such a strong girl! You are doing a great job hiking. You are a great hiker. Can we run and catch daddy?!!' And then she does.
And on the flip side, Bubs likes to wear Sis's necklaces, he likes to wear headbands (and hats!), he likes to have me 'spray' him with my perfume (and deodorant), he gets excited about shoes (although, I feel like that is more because getting his shoes is now something he is able to do by himself), he is starting to care what he wears, and always wants 'gel gel gel gel gel gel' in his hair. I don't discourage any of these things. Although, when he asks for nail polish Brad usually gets out the Sharpies and gives him a tatoo of a truck instead.
But. I have a boy. And I have a girl. But this is about the boy.
For the first year or so of his life, Bub lived quietly in the shadows. Our life was a mess and if I was going to have a baby at that point I needed one like him. So. Chill.
After we moved up here, the mountain air started to get to him and it was like he woke up. He was silly. He was talking. He was imitating. He was creating. (He still has a hard time BUILDING anything with his blocks his pop pop made him. He just likes to throw them!) and so has been the story for the last 7 months. We knew brooklyn right away. Everyone knows her right away. But this dude we are just now slowly getting to know.
And as we get to know him we discover these things about him that we didn't teach. He LOVES trucks. He LOVES balls. He LOVES to eat dirt. He pours water on the ground and then gets down on all fours to try and lick it up. Yes, he does. It's so gross. But he has a cute little dirt nose when he gets up. He loves to reach for everything. He wants to take everything apart. He wants to put everything together. He wants to climb climb climb and I do not have to encourage him from the bottom that he is a strong boy. Something in the core of his being tells him this is so. All of this abandon to his curiosity inevitable leads to falls.
He mostly falls on his face. Mostly in one spot. Mostly his front tooth. He has had about three fat lips this spring. Which were made worse by falling and hitting the same spot after it was already swollen. He handles it like a champ. He knows the drill. He knows how we clean up the blood. He knows I'll hold him for a bit and then he wants down and he is off exploring the next thing. He is starting to tell us what hurts when he falls. And it usually sounds like this 'mouth mouth mouth mouth' 'does you mouth hurt Bub?' 'uh huh yesh'
Recently we were at the park. There is a big piece of playground equipment with big slide and monkey bars and such and a small piece with a tunnel and small stairs and a wheel, for the little kids. Kids like Bubs. But where the little slide used to be (I'm told) there is nothing. It just drops off. About 2.5-3 feet. This makes me nervous, but heights are the one thing that make Bub nervous so I wasn't too worried about it. But he showed his courage when he tried to go down that big drop off on his belly backwards like we taught him to go down the stairs. So, I was nervous again. And I just kept watching him and discouraging him from being up there.
We were at the park with several other moms and kids. And it was time to go, and I wasn't paying too close attention because Brooklyn found a dirty My Little Pony and was trying to take it home, and I was trying to make sure we had all our jackets and water and everything together when I heard it. The noise that makes your heart DROP. THUD. and then wails. And I knew without turning around because thats the weird thing about being a mom is that you learn your kids cry and can pick out of a crowd and you also learn what the cry means. Hurt cry, sad cry, hungry cry, frustrated cry. It was my kid. It was Bub. And it was a hurt cry. So I run over to him. he is face down (thankfully on mulch, could have been worse) where he fell off the drop off. His mouth was full of blood. Full. I almost panicked. Scenes from the ER flashing through my head. And how would that work? Brad was sleeping, do I take both kids? Do I try and get someone to watch Sis? But it's almost naptime. Disaster! My poor sweet little dude just clung to me, and eventually tucked his arms in between me and his belly. His favorite snuggling position.
And I talked myself through it 'Ami, you have a boy. You have a BOY. This will not be the last time his mouth is full of blood. This will probably not be the worst time his mouth is full of blood.Your husband is a nurse. It will be fine'
And it was. By the time we got home he was smiling and playing, although you could tell he was still a little sore. But the blood has mostly stopped and he didn't want to get cleaned up, he just wanted to play in the dirt in the backyard.
I want my kids to be adventurous and not be afraid of falling, because its in the falling and getting back up and trying again that we learn right? Let's go for it! Let's do and be and embrace life! And sometimes our mouths will be full of blood. Sometimes we will have pretty banged up knees. But it doesn't mean we should stop playing at the park. Or stop hiking the mountains.
And I know that. I know that I want that for myself. I know that I want it for my husband. I know that I want it for my kids.
But the falling is sometimes so hard, you know? So painful. It's painful to watch these falls my kiddos make. I can't imagine the falls they will make when they are older.