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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parent Homework

On Monday, Nathaniel came home with a "Parent Assignment". At the top of the sheet it read, "in a million words or less, please tell me about your child." My homework was to write an essay about our son and turn it in on Friday. I finished early. I hope you like it.

He was almost two years old when I took him to the big park in Silver Spring, Maryland, twenty minutes outside of Washington, D.C. Me, with my very pregnant belly, awaiting his little sister Natalie to arrive, and making an addition to our small, but extremely happy family. My little boy holding my hand and giggling about all the things we would do at the park. I asked him if he wanted to play in the sandbox, "ohhh yes!!" he exclaimed in his tiny but strong voice. "I will dig with the shovel!" he says. As I managed my ever-growing body out of the van to get my little fella out of his car seat, he says that we "need to hurry Mommy!"

I lift him out of the car and he grabs a hold of my hand. We walk to the gate of the playground, looking to the sea of unknown faces and he breaks away, turns and looks and says to me, "Mommy! Look at all my friends."

Our Nathaniel, first born and only son. Or, as we like to call him, The Boy.

Nathaniel is generous with his time, caring of his friends, laughs easily, frightens little, has a willing spirit, can tell a great story, has a wonderful sense of humor, swims like a fish, is a roller-coaster fiend, an avid book reader, finds joy in the simple things, can make the best of any situation, gives his attention to a younger sister in need but most of all... he is kind beyond measure.

That little boy, with shovel in hand and covered in dirt, slipped through our fingers so quickly, but how he has grown into such a wonderful young man. Even with the disability of having three younger sisters to contend with, he still manages to be kind to them--most of the time (and let me tell you, those girls can push buttons). He has friends galore and is a social animal, having friends over to spend the night nearly every weekend or being invited to their homes. Nathaniel has discovered Facebook and Gmail chat, but he would much rather be outside with the sun on his face. We are proud that he enjoys so many things in life and is willing to try anything new.

As parents we are pretty laid back and try to take it all in stride, this might have something to do with the fact we have four kids. We have tried to instill this in our children too, that it's not the end of the world if you forget your homework from time to time. After all, you're young and while we want you to be responsible, we know that you are human and all humans make mistakes. However, Nathaniel tends to be much harder on himself than we ever could be when it comes to school work, and that's probably why we rarely say anything or reprimand about a lower grade or missed assignment. While he loves to learn, we do not push him to be an Ivy Leaguer. He enjoys sports but it isn't our goal as parents for him to win scholarships and achieve Olympic medals. We want him to be happy and find the joy that life can bring, and if that means Ivy League and Olympic medals...then fine, but it's up to him, we do not push.

When we came back from the park that day so long ago, after being with all his "friends", friends he had never met before... I asked him what he liked best about the afternoon. He was as sweet as can be and said he liked being with me the most. I am thankful that he still likes to hang with his Mom and Dad, and I hope it always stays that way. Our boy is one of the best things about our family and we adore him endlessly...long hair and all.


Anonymous said...

I love this. Knowing your son as i do this was a great essay.

Tess W. said...

Perfect, totally tearing up, but that's not new! Tess

Candice said...

Yeah, I cried too. Not sure why!?? Weird. Very well written.

Liberty :) said...

Aww he is cute! Bless him! Brill essay I'd give you an A+

Jan said...

What a beautiful essay and tribute to your son. I hope you'll scrap this!

Lanyardlady said...

A touching tribute. He sounds like an outstanding young man, and his zest for life shows in his beautiful smile!

JoeyandChase said...

Wow, Laurie. What a great essay. So well written! I'm sure the teacher will be very eager to meet Nathaniel ... and you guys too!