Friday, January 13, 2012

Please let cooking classes mentally occupy this child until he can climb Mt. Everest

I don't go into Parent Panic very often.  I mean, I have my insecurities and worries about my kids, definitely. I think that comes pre-packaged in the placenta.  And we go through phases where I'm at such a loss than I'm about to call in professional help (SuperNanny?  I don't know, it never gets that specific), usually right before that phase goes away.

But lately, I'm feeling very emotionally overwhelmed with how to raise Andrew, in a way I'm not used to feeling.  He requires so.much.  And it's really hard to explain to someone else what that is. It's more subtle than some kids, and I feel ungrateful feeling like he's a struggle to parent. There is so much about him that is truly joyful to parent.  I adore his intensity, I do. Which is funny, because it's actually the intensity in him that's most problematic. 

Clear as mud.  I know.

Here's the thing.  I am raising a fiery, passionate child.  A heart of gold.  It's not that he's got a temper or hurts people or things I'd think would stem from passion.  

Mainly, it's that he's got this passionate heart, but hasn't grown into being able to use it.  So all that passion is just running-in-place, because he can't send it anywhere. 

You ask him what he'd like to do, and it's triathlons (like dad), and being a doctor for poor people in Africa.  He also wants to climb mountains.

I believe him.

So I have a barely 5-year-old child who wants to save the world and push the outer limits of his physicality, but I'm asking him to live this very vanilla existence at home. No one to save.  No mountains to climb. 

He's bored.  Really.  All the jumping off couches and dangling from...well, anything that can be dangled from...is just the way of exciting his passionate brain.  He loves-loves-loves movies and action television. Again: Exciting his passionate brain.  If I want to really occupy him, I put him on Steve's stationary-bike and have him watch an action show at the same time. He needs that much stimulation.

He's this older-soul stuffed into a tiny body.  I think that's really frustrating for him.  Not "I think."  I know.  He's wants to do SO MANY THINGS...and really, he's not old enough for anything he wants to do.  Rock climbing, fencing lessons, etc...all these things he specifically requests, we look them up and he's not old enough.  

What I need to remind myself is that all of my current "struggles" with Andrew - a passionate child with nowhere to direct his passion - is an ephemeral state. He will age out of it.  He will start being old enough to do the things his mind can imagine. 

My parenting dilemma right now is how to help him find passions (or even just interests) that can keep him occupied while his little body catches up.

I look at him and see sailing camp...kayaking...yes, climbing mountains.  And then blink again and realize he just turned 5.  And the things that could really satisfy his spirit aren't really appropriate for him.  

When I ask him what he loves doing most, he says: "Eating, watching sword movies, and snuggling with you." :)  OMG. There is so much to love about this child.  

At the top of my To-Do list this week: Find him cooking classes and swim lessons.  Something to fill his brain (and his stomach), but also, move his body and make him think he's training for a triathlon.

And... just remind myself that it's going to be okay.  Frenetic-boredom aside, he's going to be okay.  I will make sure of it.






6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love this post! It reminds me of a little guy I know very well :) Danny hasn't heard of a triathlon yet, but it sounds right up his alley. The other day I took him outside to run laps and to let go of some of his "passionate energy". Almost 1.5 miles later, he still wanted to keep running. Ha ha! The sun had gone down so we had to go home. As of last week, Danny's biggest aspirations are to be a musician/doctor who helps lots of people, lives in Nashville, TN and visits Australia regularly! I love this little guy. ~Sandra

Anonymous said...

Btw, thank you for sharing. It's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels this way.
~Sandra

Sarahbeth said...

It's nice to know we're not alone, isn't it? Especially on the trickier aspects of parenting. I think we're making some progress with filling Andrew's life with a bit more activity - physical and mental. :) We'll see how it goes. Kinect Boxing has been a major plus in our lives, LOL.

Good to see you here, Sandra. :) Danny is adorable, we miss him!

Anonymous said...

I'm miss your little guys and gal too. Richmond feels soooo far. I'm definitely a fan of your kids they are so quirky and interesting. And now that I read more Andrew, he reminds me of my little guy. Danny is reserved so not too many people see his intensity but it can be wonderful and exhausting all at once. I also have days where I feel like I have to work really hard at not crushing his spirit but still ket him know that I need some breathing room or at least one full minute without high-throttle expressions of energy. I think I am going to find some active classes for the spring. Thanks for the idea. I'm surprised you have the energy to keep a blog going; but I'm happy that you do. :) ~Sandra

Sarahbeth said...

If you ever need to "vent" about your active little guy, you know whom to write. :) Yes, wonderful AND exhausting. It's hard to find the balance of one half of it, while being honest with self about the other.

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