Yesterday you turned 7.
We mixed it up a bit, broke out of our usual routine for your Birthday. And I think it is pretty fitting given that this year will be another one of change for us all.
You are in school now, with deep friendships and a routine you enjoy. So you wanted to spend the morning there, with your friends. I had asked you a few weeks earlier if you wanted to take the day off or go to school and you let me know very clearly that you would think about it, and it was a hard choice. So I let you know you could have both, school and time to do something fun on your birthday and you agreed.
When I picked you up, you let me know, "I didn't do very good listening today. And I went in other people's kingdoms a lot." (This is the language they use in 1st grade when kids get too handsy and invade other people's space).
When we got in the car we talked about it.Usually I focus on keeping you present in what you can do, rather than what you cannot do, and we talk about what you can do differently next time, and how you always have the next day to do better.
But, I decided to take a different tact this time.
I know you pretty well, having grown you and birthed you and raised you and all.
So I asked you to score your day. The last two days actually.
You said, "On a scale of 1 to 10?: and I said, "Yes." Already feeling like this may have a good impact.
"Well," you started, "yesterday was a 2, and today was probably a 4."
"Okay," I said, "you want a good average for the week, right? So you should focus on tomorrow being an 8,9 or 10."
"What if it is a 6?" You asked.
"Well, that will bring your average down, and you want to aim high."
You thought about that, and seemed to take it in.
Parenting is, should be, about working with your child, not against them. I think it is one of the ways I do parenting right. There isn't a perfect model or framework or formula you can plop on to parenting any one child that will work.
And with you, Emilio, you love sports, numbers, data and reviewing your day.
You are honest, direct and move fast.
I know that giving you a sports like framework to fit what you should do in to it will have an impact.
You don't have time in your head to go through all the things that may have lead up to making the wrong choice in how you move throughout your day, you need to report it, classify it and then move forward.
After school we went to an indoor rock climbing gym. You had never done something like this before, but I knew you would love it and excel.
And you did.
But I had to push you. But I knew I could and you'd respond. You're not quite like other kids your age in that way. You like to be coached, you like to be put in to situations where you have to take control and push your body.
The first wall you chose was a hard one, I could see it before you even got up on the wall, but I pushed you to get half way and you were thrilled.
The last one you chose was easier, but had some complicated areas. I gave you a goal of about 2/3rds up the wall. When you got there, you didn't stop. Even though I knew your hands hurt and you were slightly scared of the height. I stood on the ground, snapped some shots of you, and then all of a sudden you were finishing the climb. No encouragement from me, no push, not a word. You stepped up and grabbed, stepped up and grabbed and then you were at the top.
Emilio, it is a joy to be your Mother. You bring people together. You organize in that way that people are slightly annoyed that they're being bossed around, but want to follow you because of your energy, charisma and ability to get the job done.
You love hard. You want to be cuddled, and love touching others because it relaxes you and enables connection.
You wear your emotions right out on your skin and want the best for everyone. You're interested in everyone around you and clearly want them to be happy and successful too.
You are thoughtful and creative. Everytime you make a picture it is to give to someone, and lately you roll the paper up, and write the name of the recipient on the outside.
You think fast and share openly. We always know what is going on in your head, and I hope that never changes. I love how openly you share, even when it is shared as you interrupt me or your Dad.
Today I read through all my letters to you as you've grown over the years and was excited to see how much who you were at 1 year has remained true at 7 years. I knew then, and I know now, you are truly one of a kind and kid you are going places. I cannot wait to come with you.
I love you,