Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Guarantees





Parenting provides no guarantees.

It has been just over four years since Reece came into my life and made me a Mother. That moment changed me forever. The journey, to this point, has been filled with many decisions, some harder than others and some met with more judgement than others, but we (Justin and I) have made them. A lot of our decisions are based on gut feelings, our instinct (more my instinct), sometimes from research and gaining more information and always with Reece's best interest in our minds and in our hearts. We make informed decisions, and for the most part, there have been very few decisions we have regretted.

But still, there are no guarantees on this journey. No way of knowing if the decisions we have made are really the best in the long term. At least that is what I thought.

Friends in Reece's life have consisted of the children of moms with whom I hang out with. There is no daycare, preschool or kindergarten in our plans, so the time we spend with my friends and their little ones is the opportunity Reece gets to make friends. In the last month of so I have noticed a shift in how Reece communicates and plays with these children. I listen carefully to these kid conversations, Reece's warm welcoming heart inviting these friends over to his home to play. He is excited to share his home, his toys and his space with these friends. To be so open, so welcoming, well, it feels wonderful to hear these words from my little man. I have also noticed after our play dates he spends a lot of time talking about his "friends". What they did, how they played, and when he will see them again. This makes my heart swell, watching these relationships, these friendships develop and grow. It is pretty amazing.

On Saturday morning, Reece and I both up early, did some baking. Mini muffins were being made and while we were making them Reece informed me that a few of these were for Ben. I said really, and he informed me that yes, he was making some for Ben. He told me he wanted to share some with him the next time he saw him. Well lucky for Reece he saw Ben the next day and he proudly handed over three Reece made muffins to his friend.

As we drove the next day, on the way to Ben's house, I chatted with Reece about a few things. This visit was actually about a course I was taking with a wonderful, inspiring group of people. We are split into two groups, the first group goes behind closed doors for the course while the second group hangs with all the kiddos. Then we switch. Most of the kiddos have both parents participating, and have a parent in each group so one is always available to them. Justin isn't taking the course so while I am behind closed doors Reece is in the hands of the other adults. I have complete faith and trust in this community, but this was to be the first time Reece stayed with anyone that wasn't me, Justin or my parents. I really had no idea how it would turn out.

Our chat in the car gave Reece the rundown of the afternoon. I let him know that while I was in the course Ben's mom would be with him so she could help him if he needed anything. I also wanted to check in to see how he would handle situations if they occurred. So I asked a few questions, let him decide how he might handle things and then we talked. The last question I asked was what he would do if someone hit him, you know how kiddos can be, and I wanted to make sure Reece wouldn't slug anyone back if it happened. What came from my little man's mouth brought a smile to my face. "Mom," he said, "I would say, we don't hit."

When I came down from my course, Reece was running around and playing with the others. He didn't notice I had even come back. He was laughing and having a great time. I stood back. I watched him. He is growing, he is gaining confidence, he is stepping out of his comfort zone and he is thriving. I see in him kindness, trust, and independence. I see a little man taking some pretty big steps out into the world around him and enjoying every minute of it.

Yes, there are no guarantees on this journey we are on, but there are clues, little hints along the way that we are on the right path. It is these little hints I am holding close right now as I watch my little man explore his world a little further away from me, developing friendships and opening his heart and soul to others. I am grateful for this Mothering journey I started four years ago and I am grateful I have the confidence to trust my gut and do what feels right, even if it is a little different from the norm.

34 comments:

  1. beautiful Kim. there are moments similar to this when steve and i will look at each other and smile knowing that we're doing right by our little ones. it's such a great feeling. and reece sounds like such a caring, confidant little boy. i actually have a little something for him that i made a few weeks back. the hard part is getting it to the post office, but soon i'll make the trip :)

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    1. Thanks Lisa. It is so awesome when that happens, it just makes everything feel so right.

      Awe, that is sweet, thank you :)

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  2. Those are the wonderful moments of confirmation. The ones we treasure away in our hearts.

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  3. There are some scary moments, but if you continue to trust your gut, I'm sure you will be fine and Reece will continue to flourish.

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    1. Thanks Melissa. During those scary moments I will look to mamas like you with some experience :)

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  4. You are such a great mother and Reece is going to be such a wonderful kiddo!

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  5. What beautiful thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

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  6. Yay Kim! That's so great to read. Sending you and Reece love on this delightful journey you're on.

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  7. He's such a lovely boy Kim! So much to be proud of! No guarantees yes, but in my opinion you & Justin have done such an amazing job. He seems so kind & so gentle. Excited to get to know him even more.

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  8. No guarantees, none at all, but I really believe that if we follow our hearts and teach them kindness, love, respect and compassion, really, it will all work out in the end! He sounds like he is well on his way to being a great man.

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    1. I am so with you on that Jennifer. And thank you :)

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  9. What a beautiful post, Kim. Inspiring as always. I agree that trusting our gut and instincts is the way to go. Enjoy this beautiful journey - big hugs to you and Reece.

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    1. Thanks so much Renee. Sending you and Bea hugs right back :)

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  10. I loved hearing this honest look into your experience. It's challenging to follow your instincts. I wish my little ones could know Reece - he seems wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Gretchen. It is challenging, but moments like these ones make the challenges so worth it.

      That is sweet of you to say. I have a feeling our little ones would have a great time together :)

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  11. So sweet! It sounds like you have quite a fine little lad there. While it's true that there are no guarantees, it always makes me so proud when one of my kiddos makes a good decision.

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    1. Thanks Kristen. Thank you, he is great kid and everyday I learn something from him :)

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  12. I'm in love with this post. yes yes, no guarantees... I often admit this when one is questioning my parenting choices... but I find myself re-affirming those choices in the next sentences saying, I'm following my intuition. :)

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    1. Thanks Jules, and yes on the intuition, it really is the best thing to follow :)

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  13. You are such a good mom and an inspiration as well! Loved this post - Reece is a wonderful kid!

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  14. What a beautiful post. I am so happy you are following your gut. I must admit when I first became a mother I didn't trust my gut in leaving my daughter in the hands of a daycare provider (highly recommended by friends)and unfortunately we had to face the consequences. You are a brave and wonderful mother with so much wisdom and insight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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    1. Thanks Carrie. It isn't always easy following my gut, but I have learned, finally, that it usually does not lead me astray.

      Thank you for your kind words, they are appreciated and mean a lot :)

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  15. Such inspiring words. It gave me the shills a few times, the good kind.

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  16. Good job trusting your gut. :) It feels so good to do so.

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  17. You are such a good Mom and I think that is evident in the way Reece is able to handle situations. It seems he has grown into his independence quite well, knowing you will be there if you need him, but being confident enough to go off on his own. I really admire your parenting. :)

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    1. Thank you Sara, I really appreciate your kind words.

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