My little Mooch has turned into a bit of a fibber. I know it sounds naive but I am shocked he’s turned to lying. My oldest, Cub, has never been a liar- almost to a fault, if that’s possible. So I was quite shocked last week when I popped in to his kindergarten class and the teacher approached me asking if we were “all packed”… For what? For your trip- and are you really going to swim with sharks? That’s so exciting! Ahh… No. And what the hell are you talking about?
At first, it just started with little things, like what someone had said. But today it was down right lying.
Mooch: Today on the bus, a big kid got on the bus and said Little kids have to sit in the front! and pointed at me.
Me: Really? Who was he? What did you say?
Mooch: Well, I told him to Zip it.
Me: Wow. What did he do?
Mooch: He walked away. Oh and you don’t have to ask Cub about it because he was there…
Me: What do you mean by that…? If I ask him about it, would he tell me the story the same way?
Mooch: Um. No… He actually didn’t hear anything.
Me: So he didn’t hear this but he was sitting in the same seat as you?
What the hell kid? He’s such a little fibber! I know kids fib because they are insecure and looking for praise, acceptance and admiration. Right now, this poor bug is trying so hard to fit in with his friends. It’s hard to see him so insecure right now. He’s always been my kiddo who was so sure of himself, easily befriending anyone who showed interest. I still remember the love note I wrote to him on the eve of his kindergarten registration… It’s happening… And it’s heartbreaking to see his self-esteem plummet.
We talked up kindergarten so much. He was so excited. You’ll make so many friends! You’re going to have so much fun! Kindergarten is going to be a blast… In hindsight, maybe we talked it up too much. (Damn hindsight! Where were you a couple of months ago?!) I think he’s feeling let down. And I think I caused it. We wanted him to be so excited about kindergarten that we talked it up constantly. We didn’t leave out the parts about how something new can make us nervous, or that it will take some time to get used to a new school with a new teacher and new friends. We did say those things too but I think we played up the fun factor and he was really excited… Only to be disappointed. Kindergarten is hard work. It’s not easy to make new friends. It’s tough to listen and focus for hours on end. It’s a challenge to remember where your backpack/lunch bag/coat/ homework folder are supposed to go. It’s hard to belong.
The fibbing is a symptom of a much larger ailment brewing. Insecurity is ugly. And right now this virus is coursing through his veins. Telling his class about going on a vacation to swim with sharks made him feel special. Made him feel cool. Maybe made the other kids like him… Is it sick that I want to go with him and sit with him when he’s lonely? Hold his hand when he’s scared, hug him when he’s been hurt? The thought of him needing these things from me and not being there to provide them, is about the worse feeling imaginable in all of Mamahood. I want to be there every second to say the right thing and make sure he’s always okay. I know it’s irrational. I know there are some Mamas who would say that we both need to suck it up. But I don’t care how bat-shit-crazy it sounds. I wish I could be by his side in case he needs me.
I need to trust that I have done my job well. And that’s hard- especially when I lay in bed, feeling like I have failed in some capacity about fifty percent of the time. How do I know I am doing the right thing? Parenting is such a tough job. And I am so scared that I am fucking up these perfect little souls. Like I am unintentionally ruining them. I need to trust that I have done my job well. And I need not own my poor Mooch’s feelings of insecurity but empower him to be the amazing little human he was born to be.
Tonight, I overheard him tell his brother that he wished he was a fast runner like another kid. I took the opportunity to say the following:
If you want to run faster, challenge yourself to run faster- but only if that’s what you truly want. People are best at the things they love. If you love to run, you will be fast. And if you love to draw, you will be a wonderful artist. Please don’t try to be anyone other than who you are. Because you are such a gift. And others will like you for you.
Silence. Breathing in the moment and thinking that I may have filled his little heart with hope and love, I watched him.
Mama, Graham said that some ladies have a lot of hair in their pits and some don’t. Can I see yours? My pits? You want to see my pits? Yup.
Seriously. I give up.