This new year is moving on well. We’re full force into February, and March is lurking around the corner with Mason’s birthday coming up. Mason will be five soon. Life just keeps moving on. I can’t complain at all, but it’s hard to believe that he’ll be a half of a decade old! Yes, hard to believe for sure, but my baby boy is growing up so fast. I began pre-registration for Kindergarten for him last week, and he has become such a smart kid. I just can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!
I have a few things that I see in him that makes me really excited about his future. First of all, he’s very self motivated and quite a bit of an independent thinker. For example, our afternoons go something like this: Mason, Sienna and I get home from preschool, we eat lunch, we admittedly watch a bit of TV, and then Sienna typically takes a nap, although there are days that I let her stay up now that she’s getting older, and then that’s when I see Mason work his magic. When I move on to catching up on chores, cleaning up lunch, and sometimes, taking a rest myself, Mason takes it upon himself to make his own little lego creations. These things are fantastic creations too. They have special features, and Mason uses adult words like hydraulics, and combustion engines, not really knowing what they really mean, but knowing they sound official. He’ll also add things like “special blasters” to up the cool factor, of course.
Another thing that intrigues me about Mason is that he, unlike the rest of the members of the family, doesn’t really care as much for technology or screen time. He’s not one to watch a long show, or sit on his iPad. We typically have to beg and plead on movie night for him to sit with us to watch the whole thing. He gets bored easily watching a screen, and wants to be building, creating, letting his mind go wild to see what he can do to make pile of bricks turn into something impressive. One thing he has use his iPad for is inspiration. He’ll occasionally go to YouTube Kids and use the voice command to watch short clips of lego demonstration videos. I catch him hitting pause so he can try and mimic what he’s watched with his legos. All of this has been self directed. Another time, he found an old lego instruction book and built the entire car back, but with different colorful pieces. It took him almost an entire day to find all the pieces from a huge bin of legos that he painstakingly and carefully sifted through to located the correct size the instructions asked for. Again, an idea he came up with.
He is so bright and gifted in so many ways. It’s really been a joy to see how he’s grown. I’ve been reminding myself of these things, and trying my best to be intentional about compliments. Of course, all kids need praise, but I feel like with Mason’s sensitive personality, he really needs us to do it often. I’m starting to think it is his love language. We have to be intentional about giving him the kind of attention that entails positive praise and not the negative attention that he sometimes asks for when he acts out.
In school, we’ve only gotten great reports back from his teachers, but in all honesty, at home Dan and I often struggle parenting Mason when he gets frustrated and angry over what we would see as very trivial things. He can be sensitive at times or just plain moody. If he doesn’t keep his moodiness in check, it escalates to full on anger rage in no time. This is something that we have been working with him on. As he grows and matures we are hoping that we can guide him in a way that he learns positive ways to cope with big feelings.
With all that being said, because he feels so deeply, he also loves very deeply. It’s not hard to tell that Mason really enjoys feeling secure, affirmed, and enjoys giving hugs and kisses. He’s such a sweet boy and can be very affectionate. When it comes to him making sure we know that he loves us, he does a great job. This makes me feel like we’re doing something right in that area.
Mason tried baseball for the first time in the fall. He said he wanted to try it, and he did okay, but he’s still learning. He’s also learning to keep a positive attitude even when he’s not very good at something. It’s all just a trial and error as far as sports go at this age. I don’t want to be that parent that forces our kids into doing things that they don’t want to do. My only request is that they stay active. I think this is an important part of being a healthy kid! This year we’ve decided to try him in swim lessons. He’s had lessons before, but now that he can swim, it’s more working on breaths and technique. He’s been taking classes every Friday. He’s cried a couple of times (because it’s hard work, and he misses his Mommy…, I know he’s almost FIVE, but he wears his feelings) However, he’s been doing incredibly well at swimming. He’s become super confident and I am beyond proud of his determination!
One thing I have learned as a parent is to be careful of labels. I try not to label Mason as the “sensitive one” or my “builder” of the family. He is multifaceted and still learning, growing, and changing. All we can do as parents is love and encourage him as much as we can, help him to realize his gifts and talents, and help equip him with the tools he needs to be the best he can be. I’m along this journey of mothering him, not making him fit into a predetermined mold.
All the while he’s teaching me, all of my kids are, teaching me the best way they can relate to others, and feel loved and accepted. My kids have been some of my best teachers, and I continue to learn from them!