I love being the mom of boys. Seriously. Sometimes I think it might be nice to try for one more... maybe get "the girl". But in all honesty, I love the simplicity of life with boys. They are a joy. And they're old enough to do more than push around in strollers now, which is more fun for all of us. Yes, I love to cuddle and snuggle babies. But I also like getting predictable patterns of sleep nowadays. And I like that my kids can pour their own drinks and get their own snacks, too. And ride two-wheelers.
Yesterday, I had two of Sean's best buds and one of Nolan's best friends at the house after school. It was loud. Many Legos and Nerf guns were employed during the afternoon. And who needs a fort when you have a pick-up truck?
The fun just keeps coming, too. Today, I had the best time surprising Sean by picking him up early from school.
"Mom, why am I leaving early?"
"Maybe you have a doctor's appointment."
"Or maybe you have a dentist appointment."
"Or maybe you're going to Yankee Stadium today with Nicky and his parents!!!"
Hugs! Kisses! Jumping up and down! "Thank you, Mommy! Thank you! Thank you! THIS RULES!"
His happiness was brighter than the sun. I tossed him his hat and glove, and then we headed over to Nicky's.
I don't know who had more fun with this surprise--the kids or the parents. Mike and Cindy, Nick's parents, also picked up Nicky early and unannounced from school. And they never told him his BFF was coming with them. According to Cindy, as we pulled in the driveway he was asking, "But who is the fourth ticket for? And--wait! Why is Sean here?"
He was so excited, he scooped up Sean in his arms.
But with all the fun, there are growing pains. Nolan will be upset that he wasn't included in the Yankee Stadium class cutting bonanza today. He's buds with all of Sean's friends, so he often gets upset if Sean does something on his own with the 8-year-old set. He is slowly and unwittingly learning that they each have their own friends and have a right to do things once in a while only with those friends without including each other. It's a rough lesson, but he's accepting it, especially since so often they want to do things together as a group. I know that as they get older, their groups of friends will continue to overlap. For that I'm grateful. Nolan is extremely outgoing and personable, and he will always get along with Sean's buddies, and vice-versa. But they need to respect each others' right to have "their" friends to themselves once in a while.
Like today. At Yankee Stadium. Armed with his best friend, his glove, a pocket full of cash for buying overpriced Yankees Silly Bandz, and an epi-pen for the damn peanuts everywhere (and a firefighter chaperone to administer it if necessary!), Sean took off for an adventure he'll remember for a long time. It's a little scary to let go of any child, food allergies or not. But he's in good hands. And he's a good kid. He's growing up. And every day he and his brother teach me that the more joy and confidence I have in my own parenting will make their increasing independence easier to accept and something to celebrate. Like the woman in church told me several months ago, if I enjoy it now, it will be easier to let go later.
Little boys don't stay little forever. But then why is it that I often still feel like a "new" mom?