Thoughts on Thomas Turning Four


Parenting the firstborn would be much easier if we were allowed peaks into the future.

Thomas arrived into the world with a mom young enough to be bloated with false confidence that all would be swell.

Since then I've been humbled and humiliated countless times by my severe misunderstanding that parenting just comes naturally.

I'll just have to compensate for my persevering improvisation by doing things that would direct his understanding of me as a mom of superior quality.  I'll continue to read to him until either we've reached the bottom of the library bag or my eyes have fallen out of my head, talk him through yet another trail of culinary steps leading right up to my figure's sabotage but encouraging his enthusiasm for things like measurements! and instructions! and chocolate!, and tell him "because I said so" a few more times to imbue a little mystery as I attempt to upstage his rapidly growing brain.  One step ahead, kid. I'm keeping one step ahead.

Last weekend, family rallied around Thomas to sing happy birthday, and I wondered how time could spin me around so that I was left standing dizzy, staring at a cute kid with big brown eyes harboring my heart just as much as the day he debuted small enough to fit in the cradle of my arms.

Life with Thomas is an adventure, and it's an adventure I had never known or hoped I would have taken.  I've looked to others' lives and thought: traveling abroad!, writing a book!, having so many kids people sometimes count twice when they are studying your family's photo! Now, THOSE are adventures.

But being a mom to this dude is more than I could ever say.

Raising a child and watching his passions, imagination, and ideas form day by day is an adventure just as much as finding ourselves in any foreign territory and scrambling for resources to forge a path.  I won't gush out all the details or draw up a map for how to find the end of the rainbow here or tell you this and this and this about this terrific place!  Thomas is all his own and even though being his mom is a towering amount of joy, no one will make this same journey.  And since I've always been one to not follow the crowd, except for maybe when I begged my mom a hundred times in 5th grade for an Adidas jacket with the stripes down the sleeves, it's an adventure I'm now seeing is the very culmination of all the things I was born to do: Work hard. Play harder. Learn. Laugh. And fall on my ass right where I've sculpted a cushion from all that chocolate.