Sunday, May 9, 2010
M is for Mom
I know, today should be all about me because I am a mom. The truth is if it weren't for my three beautiful children I wouldn't have the privilege of being "Mom".
The three boys are all so different. Each unique in their own way, but so much the same too. I hear all the time how much they look alike. Sure they have their similarities, they certainly look like brothers, but perhaps I don't see it because I see them as the individuals they have become.
Patrick is the "baby" of the family, but at 9, he would argue that he is no longer a baby. That is true of course, but like his brothers, he will always be my baby.
He wasn't the easiest of babies. He cried a lot when he was really little, he hated the car, and I pretty much walked around wearing him in a Snugli for the first 6 months of his little life. He walked at 9 months and was running two weeks later. He hasn't stopped running since.
Patrick is a little on the quirky side, and I say that with the utmost affection. He's funny and most of the time he doesn't even realize he is. We stopped at the store the other day and because he had money in his pocket he had to buy himself something. He brought his lemonade up to the counter, paid for it with a handful of change and as he walked away, he pointed to the store clerk and said, "Now you have a good day." What nine year old says that?
As we were walking home from school one day last week, he announced to me that he was becoming very good at impressions. He told me he was really good at doing his brother Daniel.
So of course curiosity got the best of me and I asked him to go ahead and let me hear Daniel.
Not in how Daniel sounds, but more what Daniel would say..."Patrick, you are such a tool!"
Spot on impression!
Daniel and Patrick don't have the best of relationships. There is no doubt in my mind that they love each other, but I'm pretty sure Daniel never really got over the fact that when Patrick was born he was no longer the baby of the family.
I do see glimmers of hope for them. Daniel is making an effort to do things with Patrick. He takes him outside to play catch, or to the gym to play some hoop. I think Daniel sees the potential Patrick has as an athlete and he's trying to help him on his way.
I think there is hope for them as brothers and friends.
Unlike Patrick, Daniel was a good baby and has grown into a really good kid. He was born during a snow storm and we were lucky to get to the hospital in time. He was born quickly and even as a baby he moved quickly! He chose not to walk until he was almost 14 months old because he could get everywhere he needed by crawling. I'll never forget the day when he was about 10 months old, when I found him sitting in the kitchen sink playing in the water. He had the smarts and resourcefulness even at that age to push the kitchen chair over to the sink and crawl in.
Despite is mischievous beginnings he has grown into a young man that any mom would be proud of.
He's respectful, kind and well liked. He's smarter and more talented than I could ever have hoped to be at his age. He is an amazing writer and very good athlete, but mostly he's a good person. He quietly goes about his business without a lot of fanfare. He quietly gets the job done whether it's academics or sports. He excels at both but in his own quiet way and people notice. He's teachable and coachable always willing to improve. He's not as socially out and about like his older brother, preferring to sometimes just hang out at home or with his the friends he's most comfortable with.
Mikey, Michael really, but he'll always be "Mikey" to us, was my first and the best baby of the three. He never cried, he was always content and easy to please. I'd walk in to a smile every morning as I lifted him out of his crib. I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was responsible for such a small little thing when I had absolutely no experience with babies.
But my instincts kicked in and I was never the same again.
He has always been a good big brother to both of his younger siblings. He has given Patrick a lot of attention, helping him out when he needed to, consoling him as a baby when nobody else could. He is Daniel's best friend and Daniel looks up to him in many ways. Mikey takes this job very seriously striving to be a good example to both of his brothers.
I was approached the other day by his boss at his new job. He told me that when the other kids are just chatting and sitting around, Mikey is up and working, finding things that need to be done. Whether it be cleaning tables, emptying trash or the dreaded...cleaning the bathroom, Mikey does it without being asked. I was of course very proud, it's always nice to hear the good things your kids do, but I couldn't help wonder why he's not cleaning the bathroom at home!!!
Mikey will be headed off to Syracuse University in the fall. I know our house will never be the same. I've never been one to get emotional over the different stages of life they've gone through. I was not a mom who cried when I dropped them off on their first day of kindergarten, or during their various moving on ceremonies, because going to kindergarten or starting high school is what they are supposed to do, but as I'm writing this, thinking about Mikey moving on to college I'm feeling more emotional than I expected to. Syracuse is far away, he won't be coming home every weekend. Do I wish he was going to school closer to home? Yes, but I can't deny him what he's worked so hard to achieve. I have to let him spread his wings. I know he'll soar, it's the kind of person he is.
I couldn't be more proud of all three of them.
So I don't need a day to celebrate, I get to celebrate everyday I hear my name...Mom.
Happy Mother's Day!