Friday, March 30, 2012

Lately I am noticing little aspects of J's personality emerging.  I see him do things and they make me so proud of who he is and confident in the person he will become.  At least, I hope what I am seeing is the foundation of the good hearted, kind person I hope he is as a man.

One thing I noticed recently is that J is very kind to smaller kids.  He ADORES his cousin Anna (age 18 months) and has always been very patient, considerate, gentle and kind with her. He has recently started calling her his "sister" and asks about her every day.  I have always been impressed with how he treats her (because patient, kind and gentle aren't often words that can describe three year old boys).  But, recently, I saw him around another child of the same age. J was so sweet to this little girl.  There were many children playing and jumping around, but J made sure to look after her.  The kids were taking turns jumping off a ledge onto a huge beanbag.  J helped this little girl onto the ledge, took her by the hand and then they jumped onto the bean bag together. When bigger kids came around, he made sure they weren't going to land on her and that she had room to jump.  He shared his toys with her and they got along exceptionally well. I hope this is a trait he never loses. I hope he always looks out for the little guy. I hope he always makes sure that people who are littler, slower, younger or whatever are watched out for. Because to me, a big part of a person's character is how they treat "the little guy".

                                                        Jackson and "sister" Anna
I have also noticed recently that J has the tendency to be a daredevil. He likes to try things that make my heart leap into my throat when I see them. He doesn't see things as too hard or seem to be intimidated out of trying them.  But, I also noticed that he doesn't throw caution to the wind and just dive into dangerous things either.  He is very methodical about testing the limits of what he can do.  Again, I hope this translates to the rest of his life. I hope he always has the desire to try things that might be intimidating or daunting to him, but that he does so responsibly. I also hope that he never looks at something and thinks, "That looks hard or risky, so I won't try it." Instead, I hope he says, "That looks hard, but I think I can do it. I won't know until I try."

                                           Downhill racing. We don't have a bike helmet yet, so this
                                                                           Was J's solution (lol).  

                                                 The next Evel Kneivel? Maybe if he grows a little.

Also, J has recently started being able to sympathize with people and will apologize without us making him.  That may seem silly to a lot of people, but that is important to me. A good example of this was a few weeks ago. J dropped something on his dad's foot and it very obviously hurt his dad.  Ryan left the room to let off the steam and J was visibly upset that he had hurt his dad. I have told him before that it is up to him whether or not he says sorry, but that when we hurt someone (no matter why) we should say sorry. This time I didn't say a thing.   His dad returned and with no prompting, J said ,"sorry daddy" and gave his dad a big hug. Why does that matter to me? Because it shows empathy. And because it was sincere. J could understand that his actions hurt someone. It also shows an understanding that an apology isn't just for wrongs we MEAN to do, but for those that are accidental too.  I want J to always to admit when he made a mistake be quick to offer a sincere apology.  Too many people don't value empathy and sincerity anymore. It is a small example, but I hope it is the first stop on the path to a man who does value those qualities.

The last trait I see emerging in J is gratitude. I love to hear him thank people for things. Especially when I don't have to prompt him. Obviously, it is good manners, but I hope it goes deeper than that. I hope he realizes that people are being generous to him and that he appreciates it.  And I hope he in turn will be generous to other people.  A while back J received an unexpected gift. It wasn't a big, over the top gift, but J loved it.  Upon receiving it, he said to me, "mom, these cars are awesome, I need to write a thank you note." Hallelujah! All those cards we have written may be sinking in! I hope that J is always thrilled by any gift given to him, no matter the size. I hope the surprise of someone acting kindly to him never goes away and that any time someone is kind to him, he continues to say, "thank you, thank you, thank you!" with that smile on his face and twinkle in his eye.  And I hope he only continues to grow in his desire to give to others. I love it when we are at the store and he sees an item and says, "you know who would like that? Daddy. Let's get it for him!" I want giving to be as exciting as receiving for my son. When J gets a new toy, we have a rule  that he has to pick one toy to give away.  The last time he got a new toy, I reminded him to pick one out to donate.  Without a single complaint, he said, "yeah, because some kids don't have toys and they might like playing with one of mine". 

                                                 This is the smile and the eye twinkle I was referring to!

Kids are obviously works in progress. Adults are too. We all need to learn and grow and be reminded to be kinder, more understanding and more generous.  Seeing J start to "get" these concepts helps  me to be mindful of these things too. And it reinforces to me to keep on him about those things because he does get it. Even when I think he doesn't.  Hopefully, he continues to impress me!


  1. Love it! J sounds like an amazing little boy.

    1. Thanks Angie! I think he's pretty wonderful, of course!