My boy. My Parker. He is growing inch by inch, everyday. He is by far my most favorite of all the 6 year old boys I have ever known. He is sensitive, goofy, energetic, and creative. And, right now, he has been battling things that most 6 year olds probably do.
He is experiencing hurt feelings at school for the first time. There is a boy who wants to be Parker's friend, but is going about it in all the wrong ways. Manipulating his past friendships, encouraging rude behavior, and even physically stopping Parker from playing with others. This is by far the hardest trial I have had to help him maneuver. He knows that this "friendship" is flawed. He has never come home with concerns about any of his past friendships and, yet, he wants to fit in. He wants to teach this friend kindness.
He experienced his first big encounter with embarrassment. He was in the classroom bathroom, singing to himself. When he came out, his whole class was laughing. I explained that just like the leaves, the feeling of embarrassment will fade and one day he will be able to laugh at the thought of his first grade self singing in the bathroom at school. But right now, today, I felt his pain.
He has always been so smart. Talking as well as a 5 year old when he was 2. Understanding emotional complexities, science experiments, and vocabulary. But at school, he struggles with reading and is getting extra help. I struggled with reading too and know the feeling that comes along with inadequacy.
So, when Parker felt sick to his stomach today without any other signs of sickness, I knew that maybe he needed a day with his mom close by. And I needed that with him more than ever. It is easy to feel our bond slip away as life gets busy with sports, play dates, and hustle. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with worry. It is easy to feel lost in the similarities that Parker and I hold.
My solution is to kiss him 100 times a day. To hold him whenever I can. And to start going on dates, just the two of us, at least once a week. Because all of these difficulties can be fixed with a little confidence topped with love.