As a mom I am constantly hugging and kissing my son even though he already acts like a teenager and won’t allow me to kiss him very much. There are still a few special times where he is really huggy like after a bath, early in the morning, or after he gets hurt, but he never wants me to kiss him very much anymore. I was sad about this at first and as an alternative I usually make a game out of it where I tell him I’m gonna steal kisses or I tickle him and kiss him, but he recently taught me an important lesson regarding how we express love. Kissing is one very important and popular way that we express love but not everyone is comfortable with it. I know some people who don’t like kissing in public for instance. I always knew that but one night, Griffin reminded me that there are other ways to express love.
About a year ago, I told him that when we are holding hands and I squeeze his hand 3 times it means that I love him. So, for about a year now we have this little thing where I squeeze his hand 3 times and then he squeezes mine back 3 times. I love this of course but recently he took it to the next level and it melted my heart. I was putting him to bed one night and he said, “Mommy, when I hold your hand hearts go from inside of me into you and to your heart”. This was the sweetest thing he had ever said to me. Now, sometimes he will remind me to hold his hand before bed so that I can get his hearts. This made me realize that I don’t need to be upset that he won’t let me kiss him much anymore and reminded me that love can be expressed in any way you choose to express it. In this case, Griffin was creative enough to assert that his hearts flowing into me show me the love that he feels for me. I will take that any day over a kiss!
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Everyday when Griffin goes to his summer camp at Open Arms preschool,
his teacher, who is also the incredible director of the school, asks
him to sign in. She is pretty creative so she doesn’t just ask the
kids to sign their names, but she has them answer a yes or no question
and sign either on the “No” sheet or the “Yes” sheet. Most days it is
something simple like, “did you brush your teeth” or “do you have any
pets” but this past week she was asking them if they liked the Magic
School Bus or if they wanted certain characters to teach class that
day. I really appreciate her creativity here but we all know that this
is just the beginning of the requirement to “sign in” or put yourself
into a category everywhere you go. I’m not upset by her activity but
I’m just saying it made me think.
Now, I know my son, and I know he doesn’t dislike the Magic School Bus
but when asked if he liked it he signed “no”. It’s not the fact that
he signed no that made me think, but more importantly it was HOW he
signed no. He walked over to the sign in sheets, asked me which sheet
was the ‘no’ sheet, and while signing his name he giggled and gave me
his mischievous smile. He and one other child signed “no”. The “yes”
sheet was filled with names just like every other day. He did this a
few days in a row and it made me realize something. Even though I knew
Griffin was being somewhat rebellious by signing no to questions just
for the sake of signing no, I realized that he was trying to express
his individuality. He didn’t want to be like everyone else even though
his answer would typically be yes to most of those questions.
As parents who have been raised in a society that many times frowns
upon being different, our gut instinct is to encourage our kids to
follow the crowd. I even had to stop myself when I wanted to question
Griffin’s choice to sign no. Thankfully I didn’t discourage him and
his “rebellion” reminded me that it’s ok to choose the path less
traveled and it’s imperative that I foster his individuality and
creativity. Do YOU like the Magic School Bus?
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