Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Best Medicine for letting your older kids go...

A new baby of course.

Last summer I had the helicopter Mommy post about how I was so leery about letting the boys have much freedom. Well with Ashley I've had to let my guard down a bit. I'm not just being neglectful but I have let Austin run amok at the ice arena when I've had to nurse Ashley or something. Today Austin had an eye appt. and I had to dash to the "contacts room" to feed her and Austin stayed with the doctor all on his own. He has to get glasses by the way but that's another post.

And the last couple days I've let Tommy hang out with the neighborhood kids until dusk. Last night it was just next door and I finally had to call to get him to come home. Tonight it was the neighbor a little ways down. I look out my front door and they are about a football field and a half away on the side street in our little circle. Every so often I would look and I could see his red baseball cap in the back yard but for the last 20 minutes or so when he was gone I kept looking out for him. Pretty soon I saw him trudging down their driveway, into the road and walking home. I was just watching him from the front porch and he had his shoes and socks in his hands (they'd gotten muddy) and the closer he gets I realize he is in his own little world singing something. Tommy LOVES singing by the way, I swear he is always singing something. He's embarrassed me a few times with his singing in fact because it's always something odd, sometimes inappropriate (Clarence Carter Strokin as a two year old on the way to Disney World with Grandma in the car comes to mind.) ;) Pretty soon the neighbor dog starts barking and he starts sprinting towards the house. It was quite comical, I start laughing and he finally realizes I've been watching him.

I guess in posting this, lately I've realized that Joe and I are in the prime of our lives. The boys are so much fun. Ashley is a doll. The boys are still young enough to love on and snuggle. Tommy especially is super affectionate, Austin not so much but you might get some sappy love from him if you catch him at the right moment. He just shows his love in strange ways, i.e. blocking doors so you can't leave, or hanging on your leg. Julie found this out Saturday. With Ashley I feel like the luckiest person in the world getting to experience all the joys, the wonder and awe of raising a perfectly healthy baby without taking it for granted like I maybe did with Tommy after all the trials and tribulations we went through with Austin and later Autumn Rose. We are all healthy generally speaking. Our parents are still doing well enough that they can enjoy their grand kids. Life is good. We're established and secure, much different from those volatile 20's where I think we still had a ton of growing up to do although we thought we were true adults. I've got to remember where I came from in the future when my kids are driving me crazy as teens/young adults. They'll turn out okay. (I hope) But for now, I'm thankful for where my life is. I'm thankful for everyday, but just wish they wouldn't pass by so quickly. I blinked and Tommy was 8. Even with a new baby, I'm not ready to let him go too far...just a quick run down the road is far enough for me.

11 comments:

Barbara said...

Very good post. It's great when we can appreciate where we are in life and sit back a bit and enjoy it. Life can change in a heartbeat - it's so important to never take anything for granted.

Amy said...

What a nice post! It is hard to let go initially, but little by little it becomes easier!

I love that you appreciate how good you have it and how great your life is. I think that is what we are supposed to do, appreciate life!

Love those moments when you watch your kids and they don't realize you are watching them. I live for those!!

Just wait until you have to start making really hard decisions about whether or not you should let Tommy leave at 11:30 at night with his friend whom is spending the night and that drives to pick up another friend and take him/her home! Aargh! I said no, but felt like a big B***H! Couldn't do it! Too much else could happen and who's to say that is what they are really doing? Pray for me:)

Dawn said...

Thanks Barbara - I know you can attest to having your life change in a heartbeat. You just never know...

Amy - Glad you liked the post. Sorry that Lauren is giving you a few figurative gray hairs. I know I would be the same way and I know my day is coming. Yikes! I'll definitely pray for you. FWIW, I think you did the right thing with the teen driver. On another note, I know that I was running around like that as a teen and am thankful that my Dad was so lenient. He was too tired to worry, not so much with me. ;)

mrs.notouching said...

BEAUTIFUL post. Thank you.

Jill said...

I miss those days when my kids were young and they loved me. Now I get love when I'm wanted. (same with the hubby!)
Enjoy your family!!!

Julie said...

What a great 'stop and smell the roses' posting.

And yes, I did understand what Austin was doing on Saturday night. Warmed my heart.

ellen :) said...

Dawn,
Thank you for opening our eyes to what is in front of us! REALLY appreciate that Tommy will still give you lovin', Luke is almost 12 and is pains him to give me his cheek to kiss before he goes to bed or takes off with his dad for the weekend. It really hurts because he was my lovebug for so many years, we were VERY close, he and I. I give all the kisses and snuggles to Sammy now, poor captive kid! He can't get away...he thinks it's funny when i say, "Can Mommy have a kiss Sammy?" and he turns his head to the side and smiles..little troublemaker! He is learning from Luke way too young! ;)
I have started to let Luke go to his friend house down the street and he comes back when it starts to get dark and it freaks me out, but I know i have to let him be free eventually...don't want to raise a serial killer or anything! I think you're doing great with letting him go at 8! I think I should have started sooner, but I was a way worse helicopter mom than you! Poor Luke! ;) Sorry for the novel here!

Dawn said...

Thank you girls. Glad you liked the post.

Ellen & Jill - So sorry your older kiddos don't show the love so much these days. But of course you know deep down they all wouldn't last 10 minutes without you and all kids (even old ones) love their Mama's!

Kathy said...

What a touching post Dawn! Thank you for sharing!

Zack's our lovey kid...even though he's a big, giant 9 yr old, who's on the cusp of pre-teen-hood (and likes to think he's already there sometimes), he still snuggles up with me to watch tv... full of hugs... likes to have me tuck him in at night...

Zane, on the other hand, like Austin, chooses to show his affection much differently, though will cuddle with me when he thinks he's in competition with his brother. Ha!

Kiera Beth said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful post. First of all, I am so glad to hear how happy you are with everything! That is great that the boys are being able to do fun things in the neighborhood

Second of all, you give me so much hope. I look at pictures of Little Dude right now that are taken by others and I always see either Drew or I in the frame also. I worry about the helicopter parent. I am glad to hear that this is something that others go through!

Dawn said...

Thanks Kathy - We had quite the weekend with Tommy gone for most of it. Austin was like a totally different kid. I think we need to pick up the book "Siblings without Rivalry." All we can do is love them I guess.

Kiera Beth - Your guy is still pretty young. Don't start worrying yet. I can see you bawling though on that first day of preschool. It'll be here quicker than you can believe. :(