Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Memories That Last a Lifetime

How many of you have a REAL memory of what your life was like before the age of five?  Not many, I, on the other hand, can attest to TRUE memories aging all the way back to two years of age.  It's really kind of fantastic if you ask me.  We moved to Corinth one month before I turned the age of three.  I still can tell you the color of my brother's bed spread, walk you through the floor plan of our home in Sheffield, and honestly recount to you the major land marks in route to and from taking my brother to school.  Many of you, I'm sure, think I'm crazy.  My mother did for a small time frame, that is until I precisely affirmed all of the above mentioned.  

I presume this is a rarity for most.  My husband seems to think so.  He doesn't seem to have the true memories of detail up until the age of around five.  Five . . . . . WOW what a pivotal year in most children's lives.  It's the year you officially start "real" school, the year you have to get eight shots and REMEMBER them, and have to start really doing chores around the house.   Keller will turn five this year.  I feel my heart aching just a bit for him.  I am so excited for the things that are to come in his life, but, at the same time, I feel him becoming more and more independent.  He seems to need me less and less.  I know that this is what the whole "life cycle" is about, but it is really hard.

Keller has always been a bit shy.  He tends to kind of hide behind me, and look to me for reassurance before he does most anything.  Bobby and I are very aware of this, and for the last year we've tried not to be so "babying" of him.  I contribute most of this to the fact that he was never in day care.  For the most part, he had no interaction with other children except for at church.  This may have been a mistake on our parts as parents, however, McKendry has been raised the same way (probably more so) and she is the polar opposite.  Knowing his partiality to be this way Bobby and I have made a push to help give him options to pull him out of his shell, a bit, so to speak.  I'm not trying to change who he is by any means, BUT give him opportunities to broaden his horizons.

He is just sooooo much like me.  He becomes discouraged very easily, and try's to give up quickly if he doesn't master things right off.   I feel I missed so many opportunities because of that lack of confidence.  I NEVER tried to play any sport, try out for cheerleading, or anything that might bring attention to myself for no other reason than the fear of failure.  I was terrified of being embarrassed.  Keller has many of those same mannerisms.  On the contrary, he is a boy.  He does it in such a different way.  A "tough" manly way.  He will usually cross his arms and walk away with a gruff look on his face.

So, this year could be the year of WONDERFUL memories for Keller.  He will start kindergarten.  He will get those dreaded shots.  He will also, because of voiced interest, play soccer and t-ball. This is  something that all of us are very excited about.  Will we be those parent's that sits on the side lines yelling at our child for not getting the run or missing the goal?  Nope, quite the opposite.  I'll be the mom sitting on the side lines fighting back tears just to know the huge step that it will be for him to step out onto the field.  I even understand that he might hate it.  I remember watching my nephew, at this same age, play t-ball.  We would all load up to watch him pretty much pick dandelions in the outfield.  I'm fine with that.  This summer is going to be about memories and opportunity for Keller.  I pray for his sweet heart and his confidence.  I also pray for out patience as parent's.  We've babied him and now it's like all the sudden we expect him to be "tough" and do it all.  It's a fine line of picking them up after a hard fall and kissing their "boo boo's" to getting them to pick themselves up and brush themselves off.

I see this change already taking place in him . . . . . .  today as we took our afternoon stroll through the neighborhood Keller took a hard fall turning into the driveway on his bicycle.   I watched it take place from a few feet back, and cringed as it went down in what seemed slow motion.  Then, to my surprise, I heard him from under his bike yell out "THAT WAS A REALLY COOL FALL, I EVEN GOT MY FOOT STUCK IN THE TIRE!!!!!!"

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