Our Five Ring Circus: Growing Up Isn't Easy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Growing Up Isn't Easy

Dylan has been a snit the past week. I have no idea what's going on, but I feel like he's entering his teenage years already. Really? Does it really start at (almost) 5?!?

Dylan has always been an incredibly sweet, well-behaved, polite boy. He gave me no problems, and never even had a tantrum until the month after he turned 3. To this day, he aims to please. He has such a sweet personality and is filled with more compassion that most adults I know.

He's having a rough time. He still wants to be that sweet, perfect boy, but he's also testing his independence. He's starting to grow apart from me, and realizing he can do a lot of things without me.

It's hard on all of us. This past week, he has lashed out. He's been overly sensitive, has thrown a few tantrums, said mean things to us, stomped to his room and slammed the door...he's spent more time in time out this week than the past 2 months combined! He's really testing us and is so emotional!

I knew this was going to happen one day. I know it's the age, and the fact that he's in school and living his own life away from me for a few hours every week.

But it's so very hard. For me. And for him.

I had a great night with him tonight. We had one brief meltdown, but it was a good night.

This weekend is going to a whirlwind. Tomorrow will be his last day as a 4 year old, and I won't get much alone time with him due to his party, so I wanted to spend some time with him tonight.

We baked cut out cookies for his birthday at my parent's house. He wanted D's and 5's. I frosted, and he decorated, just as we always do. I glanced over at him several times and was struck by how grown up he was. He was in his own world, meticulously decorating each cookie, then holding it up for my inspection. After every cookie, he would flash me a big smile and his gorgeous blue eyes would light up. His brand new big boy winter hat (you know, the knit ones that look a bit like baseball caps) was on his head, and he just looked so big. So. Incredibly. Big. When did that happen?

On the way home, he talked about the awesome new light up shoes Papa bought him today (he finally convinced him to get rid of his favorite, near sole-less shoes!), and the Native American that taught his preschool class this morning. He went into such detail about his class that day...the entire classroom was set up like a Native American Village, and he told me that the animal skins that the Native Americans wore really stunk.

There were a few moments of silence, and he added, "I can't believe I met a real Indian today! She was so cool!"

As I carried him to his room for bedtime, I realized that his feet almost reached the ground. He's going to pass me up so quickly! How can he already be THIS tall?

Tonight, I held him in my arms as we read books before bedtime. He looked up at me, snuggled against my side, and began twirling my hair. I realized that I wanted to embrace this time I have with him, so I sat down the book, and promised him I would snuggle with him as he fell asleep.

His face lit up, and he curled up against me. I held him as tightly as I could, and right before he fell asleep, he told me, "You'll be my best friend forever."

I teared up, and told him, " I will love you forever."

I held him just a few minutes longer after he fell asleep, not wanting to let go of the moment.

Growing up isn't easy on any of us, but it happens...All I can do is love him with all my heart and pray that he always knows how much he is loved.


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  2. Hey, sorry about the above comment, i didn't realize my hubs was signed in! I said: I totally feel your pain, they grow up so fast! I look at Salem all the time and i'm floored by how grown up he is!

  3. I do think there is a big emotional change that occurs at the age of 5 for a boy. It was right then that the older 2 boys all of sudden began to push me away and identify very strongly with my dh/men and other boys.

    Patrick's (4) problems have always been about breaking things (by accident) or just getting into stuff. He has crying fits sometimes but he does it get attention. Then he stops right away at the mention of food. LOL.

    good luck with Dylan he is growing up for sure.

  4. Awwww. You made me cry at the end there :) He sounds like an amazing kid, Stef!

    Honestly, it IS just the age and it's only going to get worse. At least, that's what the moms of kids older than 5 tell me. Zack has his really good days and his really really bad ones. But, the good ones far outweigh every little meltdown!!

  5. It is hard, isn't it? Watching them grow into their own person? I often feel the same as what you described- happiness and wonder at who they are becoming, sadness that my child, who depended on me, is growing up. I know that is the goal of parenting- to make the strong, independent people, but- COULDN'T THEY STAY OUR LITTLE ONES A BIT LONGER!?!

  6. why do they grow up so fast?!?! Even with all the pictures and blog posts and memories we make we can't capture every moment and every time. Alex is going through some new things latley as well and times have been tough in our house! I just hope she is over it before the baby comes. I am glad you where able to snuggle him :)

  7. I can't believe how fast they grow up and how much they change...from one minute to the next even...good luck girlie :)

  8. *sigh* I hear you! I've been really struck lately by how quickly my boy is growing up. And how he is changing before my eyes.

    And I had to choke back tears when he told me this week, "you're my best friend". Are our boys on the same wavelength or what? :)

    So glad to know Dylan had a wonderful birthday! He looked delighted in every picture!


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