Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The "Perfect" Child

I am not one to write a lot about my kids getting straight A's, doing super great on their CRCT's, or their overall sheer perfection. I mean, as their mother, I think it is MY responsibility to think they are perfect. As once was said to me, "your children are perfect in the eyes of 3 people. You [their mom], their dad and God." However, I am one to tell you when one of my kids writes with sharpie on my couch, one gets beat up by a bully probably because he had it coming or just the overall chaos that is called my life. My dad called once and asked me to call him back when I wasn't multi-tasking. Clearly he forgot what it's like to raise children. I said, "Dad - when exactly am I NOT multi-tasking ... maybe when I'm in the car, but if I call you from there, I guess I will technically be multi-tasking."

Anyhow, as Casey reaches that icky pre-teen/puberty stage and I feel him slipping away and long for the days where he would snuggle up with me, thumb in his mouth, rubbing his blankie on his nose and say, "Momma, wead me a stowee" and stuff like that .... and I lie awake at night wondering how did I mess him up so bad? Is my time running out? I wish I would have done this or that differently..... I feel him slipping away and it hurts my heart ohhh sooo baddddd...... we have conversations about qualities we see that we like in other kids and qualities we do not. Sometimes I feel like I am trying a little too hard to shape his personality to become the person I (or we) want him to be instead of just letting him "be" hoping we did an OK job raising him. Then I lie there thinking, "Please God, let him turn out OK." Or "Please God, let me stop fighting his battles for him" ... or "Please God, let him turn out to be someone we are proud to call our own."

And I wonder .... I wonder what it's like when I am NOT there..... not there to remind him to be kind. To remind him to be respectful. And to be a good friend. And all the things he learned in kindergarten like that stupid poster everyone had in 1988 says. And you just don't know.

So here's where the bragging comes in. Within the last 3 weeks I have received 2 e-mails. I am changing the names of the people involved but other than that they are verbatim .....

The first:
From: Anonymous (LOL)
Date: April 11, 2011 7:57:17 AM EDT
To: Tami Walsh
Subject: Your son is a hero :)

Did Casey tell you he helped a girl who got knocked down about a week before
spring break? The girl was my 6th grader, [Katie], who ended up with a
broken arm from her fall (was accidentally tripped in the hall)... He
scooped her up and grabbed her bookbag and helped her to the clinic :) She
didn't know who he was b/c she was crying (I'm sure hysterically, she's my
drama queen), but a friend found out over the break and told her.

If it was indeed Casey, tell him he's a very nice boy :)
[Her mom]

So when Casey got home, in true Walsh fashion, I said, "So I heard you knocked a girl down before spring break and broke her arm?!" He was all like, "No I didn't!!!! I saw it happen and helped her to the clinic!!!!!"

*slaps wrist* Bad mommy. Bad.
(This is why therapists get paid good money, by the way)

Then today I received this e-mail:

From: I'm not telling you who wrote this one either!
Date: April 27, 2011 12:14:08 PM EDT
To: Tami Walsh , Tami Walsh
Subject: Just to let you know...

I just wanted to let you and HB know what a great son you have!
[Emily] has struggled on so many levels this year. Late last night, she was particularly upset about not having any friends.
While talking to her, she said that each day during one of the class changes, she passes Casey and each day he puts his hand up for her to give him a high five. It makes her feel good. It makes her feel that someone cares about her.
I wanted you to know that your friendly, caring son has made a difference in [Emily's] life. It is true that you never know what a smile or hello may mean to another person and that little things can really make a difference and have an impact.
Just thought you'd like to know that you have raised a super young man!
Love you,
[Her Mom]

This brought me to tears.

Here's my moral of the story - if someone, especially a child, has done something nice for you or your child, let the mom know. Because maybe - JUST MAYBE - she lies awake at night wondering if she is doing an OK job, too.