Monday, August 25, 2008

I Will Survive....

If I had to choose a theme song for myself right now, it would be "I Will Survive...." More specifically, I will survive Aidan's year of being the big F word....four. I always used to say that I was going to take the year off of parenting when he turned four.... What a challenge! As my wise friends and family members who have already survived at least one child get through age four tell me, the characteristics that drive me the most crazy now will be the ones that are his strongest attributes in adulthood. So far, Aidan is promising to be one amazing adult.

As far as career paths go, he's got a million potential leads: an architect or builder, for the millions of things he creates out of everything from tiny scraps of paper to bottlecaps to any kind of string or rope... (Did I mention his unwillingness to clean up or - gasp - throw away ANY of this?) He'd make a famously good negotiator, never, ever taking no for an answer, not the first time, at least. (Or really, the second time either). He'd be a terrific defense attorney, deftly manuvering the evidence to look like perhaps Leo did it, or at the very least, Aidan did not do it. A masterful sound effects technician, maybe, given all the very loud, very ear-piercing, very accurate imitations of tools like circular saws, ambulances, smoke detectors, and drills he performs regularly. He'd be a terrific overseer of a landfill, as he likes to dump absolutely every toy bin he has in his room onto the floor, then play "trash compactor." He might get fired from this job, though, because the landfill might never get smaller, just bigger. I know, quite sincerely, that he would make an excellent teacher. For as many of the bad habits or mischevious behaviors he has taught Leo (showing chewed up food on his tongue, spitting his water on the floor or his shirt, running away whenever I try to help him get dressed, running away any time I want him) Aidan has also taught, and is teaching, some of their most admirable and cherished habits and behaviors: carrying dishes to the sink; cleaning up spills of water; reading books together; showing their affection through unprompted, unasked for- hugs and kisses; sharing lots and lots of laughter and kindness, delivering each other's cups of water or loveys whenever one happens to find the other's.

Most days, I feel both unbelievably tired of the daily struggles and challenges of raising children, and unbelievably blessed and lucky and happy and proud to be Mom. I suddenly realized on our walk this morning that this is truly the last year that Aidan and I have together, spending most of our waking moments with each other, before he treks off to Kindergarten next fall. What has seemed like such a distant and remote chapter in our shared lives, that of Aidan heading off to school, is suddenly on the horizon. And I am bound and determined that, despite Aidan being four, we are going to have an amazing year, along with Mister Leo, for whom kindergarten is decades and decades away!!!!

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