It didn't help that my husband forgot how to get to the hospital and asked me, the woman in full-blown labor, for directions. He obviously failed to notice the fact that I could barely speak due to the small child inside me whose head was relentlessly slamming into my nether regions like a battering ram as Little Man worked his way out of "confinement." It also didn't help that Big Man stopped at all the red lights, even though there was NO TRAFFIC at 4:30 in the morning, because he was afraid of getting a ticket for our expired tags. I think we could have come screeching to a halt right in front of the emergency room door just in the nick of time if "The Driver" hadn't lost his ability to think.
No matter...while it was scary when it happened and Little Man ended up in NICU for a week trying to expel crap from his tiny lungs, in the end it all turned out and being born in the car makes for a great story. One I get to share every year. And one that Little Man finds hilarious.
He is a major study in contradictions, this one. He loves adventure and exploring and excitement, but is scared to death to go upstairs by himself if no lights are on up there. He loves to cook and experiment with making new food, using every ingredient we have in the house, but until recently would only eat ramen, spaghetti and mashed potatoes...vegetables are only consumed after every viable excuse or dodge has been tried and denied, then they are gagged down with much drama and unhappiness.
This is a kid who wants to be loved and accepted and is keenly aware of how his friends view him. He loves his friends and thinks about their needs and works hard to nurture and care for them. But he is the first kid to walk away from a group of kids who are being disobedient or disrespectful and he is refuses to tell a lie, even when he knows he'll be ostracized or punished.
A free spirit by nature, Little Man finds clothes to be confining. He wouldn't wear long pants for the first 4 years of his life and getting him to put on shoes and socks was like trying to walk a chicken on a leash. When he does wear clothes, he's very fashion conscious, making sure his clothes and hair look perfect and trendy for school and church, but the grub monkey will go DAYS without brushing his hair if he doesn't have to go anywhere and getting the kid to wash his hands has become a family mantra, with each of us reminding him to "soap up" about 20 times a day.
This wild child of mine is a bundle of fabulous energy who wakes up running and punching and giggling and jumping. He can cover the entire floorplan of the house while getting dressed for school because the kid hates, I mean HATES, being still. But take him to church and he turns into a church mouse. He'll sit quietly looking though the hymnal or draw a picture while he listens to the speakers. His whole demeanor changes and he becomes calm and at ease. He knows why we're there and he loves how he feels when he goes to church. He absorbs every single particle of peace and love that he feels there, while sitting quietly, with a smile on his face.
My rough and tumble kid can take a major bike wreck or a hit on the football field and walk it off like it was a swat with a pillow, then have a complete meltdown over a scratch from a tag on his shirt. He is the toughest, most sensitve kid I know.
He is fiercely independent. His favorite phrases: "I'll do it." "Let me do it." "I wanna do it myself." "I can do this, Mom." He knows he's capable, he wants to be self-sufficient and he loves mastering new skills without help. He is also incapable of going to bed without some major cuddle time, cannot fall asleep withut at least a 2 minute backrub and when he's sick he requires constant hugs, love and attention. Like all day. He'll settle for Dad, but he NEEDS his mom.
I am so grateful that he needs me...most days. This self-sufficient child can be so dependent that some days he smothers me. I try to just let go and enjoy the smothering, knowing that one day he won't want to hang all over me anymore. And truth be told, I really, really need his little sticky, stinky hugs.
Little Man's hugs let me know that despite my imperfections and my mistakes, someone on this earth thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. It doesn't matter if the world doesn't see my worth...my red-headed, sensitive-skinned, social worker of a kid does.
Eight years ago this week, Little Man made his grandiose entrance into my life, my memory and my heart. I say I am my boys' biggest fan, but truth be told, I think Little Man has switched roles on me. My biggest fan was born that day in the car. And I love him for choosing me. I hope he doesn't regret it.