Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesdays with Tammy: Not My Boy

I have a very sweet friend who is extremely funny and tells the best stories. She and I met through work and she invited me to try bellydancing when I was pregnant. I thought it would be a pretty easy workout (which it's not!) while I was pregnant. I am happy to be able to say we have been friends every since.
I have asked her to share a story twice a month that I can add to my blog. It's about her boys, and since I have two of my own boys I love to hear her stories and insights. I hope you like it!

Not My Boy….

I have three wonderful sons, now 22, 20, and 15 years old. My sons are all caring, wonderful, tenderhearted young men who will usually go out of their way to help others—even if they don’t really want to. I love them dearly and cherish the many lessons they have taught me over the years.

One lesson they taught me has held consistent through several situations as they have progressed through their various stages of development---they will always prove me wrong! (A trait I think they got from their father!) Just when I think I have them figured out, they will do or say something (usually very publicly) that will prove me wrong.

One spring day in my oldest son’s second year of life, we sat on the front step visiting with a neighbor and enjoying the gentle, earthy smells permeating the air after a warm rain. My sweet, gentle son squatted down on the concrete walkway attentively watching a small ant as it struggled with a heavy load. He loved bugs and would usually raptly watch them for many long minutes (a very long time for an active preschool boy to remain still!)

My neighbor eyed him cautiously and said, “He’s gonna kill that ant.”

“No,” I assured her, shaking my head reassuringly. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly!” (And he never had.)

At that very moment, my kind, loving, cherub-like child, stood up and STOMPED with all his might on that poor struggling ant, grinding it into the ground. I was mortified---not because he had killed the ant, but because he had done exactly the opposite of what I had expected him to do—and he had done it with witnesses! This little person, who I thought I had known better than I knew myself, did the unexpected!

This was but the first of many times that my sons would ‘prove me wrong’ over the years. Usually their proofs have come as wonderful surprises; sometimes they are difficult realizations. Sometimes they come with tears and struggles, but they always reinforce one thing----no matter how young or old they are, our children are NOT our carbon copies. They have minds of their own that they exercise from birth—making their own choices (both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in our eyes), and growing with what they learn from the choices they make. We, as parents, can only love, guide, hope, and pray—ultimately, the lives and choices of our children are in God’s hands. May He hold them safely always!

Tammy is a writer, storyteller, artist, crafter, and bellydancer who enjoys working with children of all ages. She lives in North Idaho with her wonderful husband, three sons, and a goofy dog. She teaches bellydancing, crochets, paints and sketches, and is trying to complete her first book when she isn’t at work or transporting her youngest son around town. She loves a good read, a good laugh, and life in general (especially when there are cookies involved!)

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