because when he's ready, I'm there to listen

On the way home from church last week, Hudson started talking to us about Sunday school.

Sunday mornings in the car usually involve lots of voices talking over each other. We turn down the music so we can try to pick up on at least one thought from one of the boys. And it’s rare that Hudson just starts telling us a story spontaneously.

I’ve heard from other boy moms that the day will come when my boys will stop talking to me. They won’t open up anymore. The day will likely come when they’ll come back around, but between now and then, there will be a day when they start keeping things to themselves.

We’ve learned with Hudson that it usually will take us doing something with him to get him to talk about his day or to tell us what is bothering him. We’ll work puzzles and he’ll open up. Or we’ll be throwing the ball and he’ll talk about his day. He has used these opportunities to tell us when someone did something funny or when someone hurt his feelings.

On this particular day in the car, Hudson started telling us about his friends in Sunday school. I’d ask him about someone and he’d say, “He’s a nice boy” or “she’s a nice girl.” Very simple.

I asked him about another child in his class that day and he said, “No, she’s not a nice girl.” And I said, “Oh no. Why not?”

And very matter-of-factly, Hudson said, “Because she said I was ugly.”

My heart sank. How could we possibly have a child who is old enough to deal with something like this?

Todd and I locked eyes, and Todd said to Hudson, “Well, what did you say to her?”

Hudson smiled and very innocently said, “I told her that I’m not ugly. I’m a nice boy.”

It was so simple. And in Hudson’s mind, “ugly” means “not nice.” Because that’s how we use the word at home.

I know that I can’t protect him from everything, but when his sweet little voice insisted that he was a nice boy, I started to cry. My heart broke. I was wearing my sunglasses and Hudson couldn’t see my tears, but Todd reached over and grabbed my hand. I’m sure he was wondering what in the world was wrong with me.

I don’t want my boy to have hurt feelings. But I loved his sweet, quiet confidence.

We know that kids say all kinds of things to hurt each other’s feelings, and I know that Hudson will do the same to someone someday, if he hasn’t already.

We’re praying that we will raise brave kids who can face the day and face their peers with confidence.

In that moment, we didn’t get all deep with Hudson. We told him that we were sorry that his feelings had been hurt, but we were proud of him for not fighting with her and for telling her that he was, indeed, a nice boy.

And just as quickly as it started, our conversation ended. Hudson started talking in his funny made-up language that he uses to try to make Hayes laugh, and all the loud noise in the car started up again.

Maybe that day will come when he stops opening up to me. Or maybe it will be just like it was that day, where Hudson runs in to tell me something really important, really quickly, and then he runs out to do more “important” things.

No matter what happens, I’ll always be there to listen.

 

my little monkeys

The last time I took monkey pictures of Hudson, he was 24 months old. Yikes. And the last time I took one of Hayes, he was 12 months old.

I wanted to do a little update on what they’ve each been up to, so I thought I’d plop them down next to their favorite monkeys for the update.

Hayes is 16 months old. He started “school” this month. He’s going three mornings a week and he has had no trouble adjusting already. He walks right into his class and smiles and just goes on about his business. I’m really excited for him to have some time with other kids, but away from Hudson.

Hayes still isn’t saying a whole lot. He actually had his first real word last week when he whispered “hush” while we were reading Goodnight Moon. I thought my heart would explode. It was the sweetest little sound.

He is a hilarious instigator. He grabs Hudson’s toy and takes off running around the house, just begging Hudson to chase him. It’s so funny to watch them chase each other!

He loves to eat, but has gotten a little bit picky. His favorite books are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Goodnight Moon, and Birthday Monsters.

He likes to dance and loves to sing “e-i-e-i-o” when we sing Old MacDonald. He’s an adaptable, happy kid and we’re just so thankful for him!

Hudson started five mornings a week of preschool this year. He has always been a fan of school, but I think this year he’s more aware of everything. He understands more about the process of making friends and people becoming buddies. So we’ll see where that takes us. He’s a sensitive soul and can be very shy. He’s super independent and smart, so I’m excited to see how he adapts and grows this year with other children.

He is still off the charts tall! His little belly is pretty much gone, and that’s about the last sign of “baby” that he had. He potty trained like a champ, and we’re so glad to be done with diapers.

He is just hilarious, as most three-year-olds are. Hudson is a true thinker and makes us laugh on a daily basis with the sweet and hilarious things he says. I keep notes in my iPhone of what he said that day just so I won’t forget.

Just a few Hudsonisms….

“Where’s Boudreaux? Oh, he must be around he somewhere.”

“Mommy, I’m never going to do that. Never!” (That one didn’t turn out so well for him.)

“Whatcha doing over there?”

When Hudson back-talked me, Todd said, “Hudson, what do you say to Mommy?” Hudson replied, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” (I think Todd wanted him to say he was sorry.)

I asked him to pick up his toys in the next five minutes. He got to work and finished and said, “I did it! Wow, that was a close one!”

“Here we are, guys! We made it!” (He says this when we drive anywhere- grandparents house, the zoo, church, home. He always announces that we made it.)

“Oh, Hayesy-boy.” (Says this to Hayes regularly.)

He likes to ask which is left and which is right, kind of like he’s quizzing us. We play the “left, right” game when we’re driving and Hudson tells us which way to go to get home.

He also likes to ask us if we’re boys or girls. “Mommy, are you a boy or a girl?” After I say that I’m a girl, he says, “That’s right, Mommy! I’m so proud of you!”

Whenever we do anything “right,” Hudson tells us he’s proud of us.

On the way to school this morning, Hudson was looking at a picture of all of us that he was bringing to show his class. He said, “This is my family!”

When he gets in trouble and I tell him not to talk back to me, he says, “Mommy! Stop talking to Hudson that way.”

(He still speaks in the third person sometimes.)

When we watched Fievel on An American Tail, Hudson looked at me and said, “Mommy, I fink I’m gonna cry.” It was very sweet, but very sad. We won’t be watching Fievel again for a while.

He recognizes a handful of sight words from the Meet the Sight Words DVDs and he knows all of his phonics after learning them on the Starfall ABCs app.

So there’s an update on my boys at 3 years and 16 months. They challenge us and make us laugh. We’re so proud of who they’re becoming, and I pray each day for the wisdom to know what in the world I’m doing each day. These spirited youngsters light up my life!

 

the summer of "yes"

I cannot believe how quickly this summer is flying by. It’s almost over and I feel like it just started.

Truthfully, I was dreading it a bit. Hudson has gotten so used to his morning preschool and he just loves it. So I was worried that he would be really bored at home all cooped up in the house all day. And he gets so frustrated as he is learning that he has to share his toys with his little brother.

Parts of the summer did seem really long, but we’ve found ways to pass the time and have a great time this summer without becoming “over-scheduled.”

We’ve been working on having Hayes drop his morning nap so we could have a little bit more flexibility with our schedule. It has helped us this summer to be able to have a morning outing. For the most part Hayes adapted to this change well. But in the last few days he has made it very clear that he really wants a morning nap, so he’s back to getting his morning nap. I know he’ll drop it sooner or later.

We’re about to go on one last family vacation before the summer officially comes to a close. Football season will start again and the boys will be in preschool. And I know it will be Christmas before we know it.

I’ve been more focused lately on just saying yes. But not to anyone but my kids. Their needs are simple. And they’re fun.

If Hudson wants to go to the park, then we’re going to the park. If he wants to go to the splash park, then we’re going to the splash park.

He wanted some ice cream after dinner one night and he ate every bite of his supper in hopes that we would take him to get some ice cream. So we loaded up the car and went to the yogurt place in our neighborhood.

Even Buzz and Woody were able to join us.

And Hayes snuck in bites of yogurt, too.

We went to the splash park with Anna and her girls on Monday, and ended the fun with a picnic in the back of Anna’s car. Aren’t these four just so cute eating their lunch?

Does this count as their first double date? So cute!

And today we went to a fun little indoor playground at the mall with Emily and Jack. And we had frozen yogurt again.

We’ve been just keeping busy without wearing anyone out, but making sure that the boys have an opportunity to avoid cabin fever.

I’ll admit that I used to be so intimidated by the thought of taking both boys on outings like this. Hudson has grown up a lot in the last year and he is the reason that these outings are so much easier. He still has the occasional outburst, but he’s agreeable and does a great job following directions. And that makes it easier on us to get out and do fun things. And it just makes it more fun.

We’re off to the beach tonight. We’re excited to see KK, Poppie, and uncle Walker!

 

 

 

raising a sensitive son

I’ve talked so many times about being a boy mom. So much of it has just come naturally to me, but there are other things that don’t.

I know things about girls that I don’t really know about boys. I know that if I had a daughter, I could help prepare her for the world of mean girls. I could try to help her not to become consumed with body image.

But with boys, I know that there will be many times later in my boys’ lives that I hear, “Mom, you just don’t understand.” Because, it’s true. I don’t. I won’t. But I will try.

Hudson can be very sensitive. And I do love his sweet little tender heart. I’ve observed him in a room with other kids many times. And I notice the way he clams up when someone takes his place in line. Or when someone snatches a toy from him. Or if another child argues with him or tells him no.

He gets embarrassed. He ducks his head. He looks like he’s going to cry. He doesn’t fight back.

And as his mother, I want to run scoop him up and snatch that toy right back and give it to him. Which just isn’t the right thing to do, either.

But he’s sensitive. He just is. And I know that this will change and he will be less sensitive as he gets older, but I don’t think it will completely go away.

There are times when I want to say to Hudson, “Go back to your friend and take your toy right back!” I want to teach him to toughen up, so he isn’t the one always getting his feelings hurt.

I don’t want him to be teased for being sensitive, but I want him to feel the freedom to be himself. I want him to stand up for himself and not be pushed around when he gets older and kids take on more serious issues and the teasing becomes more relentless.

And mostly I want to teach Hudson what it means to be Christ-like. I pray every single day that he will make a decision to follow Jesus and want a heart like His.

These are the parts of parenthood that I love and the parts that terrify me. I love that Hudson’s little personality becomes more and more obvious through his actions every day. We learn a little bit more about who he is and who he’s going to be. He’s hilarious. He’s smart. He’s quick and he’s sweet. Hudson can be territorial, but he really just wants to have a very good time. He loves to laugh and he is just so kind-hearted and caring.

I love that he is always looking out for his friends. And one of our prayers is that the Lord will put others in his life who are like him. Who complement him and life him up. And I pray that as his family, that we will help him grow and he’ll always know that his parents and brother are on his team, no matter what.

And his little tender heart may turn him into everyone’s best friend and it may cause his little heart to be broken a few times along the way. I don’t know. But I can only pray that we do our very best to show him the Way to confidence.

 

 

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