My Monet

Here’s what I have learned about my son. Brooks Williams does best when he has zero information. For instance, when he asks what is on the agenda for the day, it is better if I shrug and say I’m not sure rather than give him the rundown.  Spencer just texted me: “Taking B hunting after we go camping. Don’t tell him.” This is similar to me not letting him know that I’ve signed him up for art this spring.

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We started back to preschool today after a lengthy three-week break, but the Monday art class does not begin for another two weeks. It does me no good to let him know that he will be part of this class ahead of time. This is a boy who draws and crafts every chance he gets. He will forgo TV to color hour upon hour and gets giddily amped up at whatever the special craft is that Grandma’s concocted for her weekly visit. You would think a kid like this would be dying to do an art class (and I already know he will love it), but this is one curve-ball of a kid. Every time we think he’s going to love something, he hates it. And when we are sure he’ll throw in the towel after five minutes, he pushes through an hour. In the end, we’ve learned that the build-up and anticipation are not our friend. For whatever reason, it’s his biggest turn-off.

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This picture came up on my Facebook page yesterday and it caught my attention for two reasons.

  1. My lips are sealed.
  2. I am young enough to give bangs a legitimate shot.

I have no children at the time of this photo. I want them, but it won’t happen for a while. Whatever tricks I have to make it through the sticky stuff at the point somehow won’t work on my future children. Because they are so unique, each their own puzzle. The pieces of Brooks’ puzzle were dumped out onto our table almost 6 years ago and it continually amazes me how we may think a piece goes along the side, but then we realize it’s a key bottom piece. We have 18,000-piece puzzle that we are only a few thousand pieces into completing. It’s a delight to step back now and then to see some beauty, a little progress in this parenting process. Mostly we are up so close that it just looks like a mess. Colorful, to be sure, but not enough information to make out anything of substance.

Our little work of art is coming together. I hesitate to say those words, because Brooks is ultimately God’s masterpiece, but baby-step for so long that the leaps take my breath away.

Yesterday, he sat with us during the church service. I read scripture from the pulpit and I looked out at him, ¾ of the way into the congregation and snuck him a tiny wave. I was so proud of this boy. He slumped and covered his ears while we sang and colored on the program, never cracking a single smile (or uttering a single word to The Lord’s Prayer), but he did it. He whined the whole way to church and the free donuts after the service may be the only thing that makes him happy there at this point, but he’s growing. And we get to be a part of that.

I am trying to land the plane here, maybe somehow tie this back to keeping my lips sealed or the puzzle thing, but I’m only a C writer at present, so I need to keep practicing (at both momming and writing).

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