I went on a date with my boy today. Here’s why…
For the past few days my boy has been a grump. Except when my friends Brandon and Mary watched him all day Sunday while we went to the 49er game. That day he apparently only cried for a brief second and was a well behaved boy.
But for the past few days, I’ve mostly received brief smiles and giggles and a whole lot of squirmy-wormy, whiny tude. Of course when a random stranger walks by, he turns on the charm. But when it’s just us two, I find myself face-to-face with Mr. Grump. Once again, my boy is transitioning into even more independence, along with more teething. He’s busy. He’s exploring. (I feel like I just wrote about this recently…oh wait, I did!) I think he’ll be walking soon and he only seems to need me a few times a day for nutritional support.
So today, I decided to spend some quality time with my boy whether he liked it or not.
We headed to Avila Beach where the sun was shining and where the 73 degree weather greeted us.
We went for a run on the beach. Working on that shelf booty as my friend Megan would say. Not Cam though, his booty is pure squishy, baby butt perfection.
Then we got ourselves a yummy snack.
Cam ate some chicken mash and some Cheerios out of his new reusable snack bag that I bought from Littlewillowtree. I love these things!
I got an iced coffee and the best $1 cookie ever.
Here he is, Mr. California Sunshine himself!
Then we moseyed on down the road and found a nice place to sit. One of the restaurants had live music so we sat and listened for a while and it even got Cam to clap a bit.
After music time we hit the swings.
It was a really nice day for a date.
I read a classic nursery rhyme this morning. It goes like this:
Snips, snails and puppy dog tails
That’s what little boys are made of
Sugar, spice and all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of
This is exactly how I’m feeling as a mom these past few days. Like I can’t exactly relate to my son. Why? Because as this poem suggests, girls are sweet and sassy and boys are, well…not. They are gross and they don’t make any sense. What are snips? And what do snails and puppy dog tails have to do with anything anyway? It’s all stuff that drives girls crazy. Little boys don’t make sense. They seem to act before they think and they’re usually not in control of their bodies.
But Jon and I are on a mission to raise this boy into a good man. So I’m trying my best to understand all these puppy dog tails that are already finding their way into my life.
A lot of the prayers I prayed for Cam before he was born included words like, ‘compassionate, wisdom, peace-maker, kind-hearted’. All good things, right? But recently I realized my prayers were lacking an important piece. I forgot to pray for the things that will make Cameron distinctly male. (I’ve been learning this from reading Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson). So now my prayers are including words like, ‘fierce, warrior, intense, strong, mighty and conqueror.’
Our culture, in many ways, seeks to turn little boys into little girls. There are schools of thought that suggest there is no real difference between the sexes, so we’ve opted for gender neutral everything. But I can tell you: I have a boy. There’s nothing sugary and spicy about him, even at only ten months old. And as a mom, I’m learning how to interact with this mini-man. I’m learning how to respect him and not view the things he does as silly or frustrating (it’s helping me do the same with my husband as well, actually).
Today I told Jon how I was feeling about all this and he reminded me that as parents we don’t have a right to be selfish. If we want to show our sweet Cameron unconditional, selfless parental love, then I have to choose to put aside my own immaturity and my own needs.
But my needs cry out for attention: ‘C’mon Cam…I take care of you, so you should appreciate me. You should let me hold you when I want to hold you and you should acknowledge all the things I’m doing for you. You shouldn’t whine for no good reason and when I’m tired you should give me a break and simply go to bed without a fight…’
Gah, my flesh is dying a slow and painful death.
But the journey is worth it.
If I stay this course, I believe I’ll have a great relationship with this man-child. He surely won’t say his parents were perfect, but I believe he will be able to say,
“My mom was a great example of a godly woman,”
“My dad showed me what it means to be a real man.”
That’s one of my heart’s deepest desires.
So Cameron and I finished our date by watching the sun set. I asked him for forgiveness for acting frustrated with him today. He’s not too young for that, even if he can’t respond yet.
Then I took one final picture with the grump. At least he’s a cute grump.
And it’s like Jon told me today too, “A little stubbornness is a very good thing for a man to have.”
True dat, Jon. True dat.