Friday, June 14, 2013

Free to be Isaiah

I recently read a blog post on about raising a high energy child. Reading through the writer's story was like reading about my own wild son. I laughed to myself as the mommy writer wondered if her son's high energy was due to coffee during pregnancy, too much tv when he was young, or early signs of ADHD.

I laughed because I have wondered in the past if Isaiah's high energy could be attributed to the disruption caused by adoption, or my own inexperience, or something inherited from his birth mom. Here we were, both facing a child that has more energy than we knew what to do with, both caught up in "what ifs".

The truth is, I now neither know nor care why Isaiah is the way he is. Like the motherhuddle mommy, I also have come to see Isaiah's zest for life as an admirable quality, no matter how tiring it can be for me.

We've had to be creative, inventing rules that give Isaiah the freedom to explore, but also keep me from jumping out of my skin with worry. "You can climb it, but you have to get down yourself" has put a stop to my yelling "No! Get down!" accross the playground. Similarly, "You can take the scooter on the skate park ramps if you wear a helmet" will hopefully save us from a scary head injury trip to the emergency room.

By far the most beneficial and challenging rule is one that I have for myself. If Isaiah falls down, I don't go to him unless he first cries. That sounds easy, but when you think about applying this rule to watching your toddler fall off his scooter at high speed on a concrete skate park, suddenly it isn't so easy keep those mothering instincts in check.

Maybe it sounds uncaring or somewhat heartless (it can sure feel that way), but by my not making a fuss Isaiah has the freedom to decide for himself if he is hurt. And most of the time, scrapped knee and all, he just decides to get back up and keep going. It's only my heart that is left shaken and in need of a cuddle.

So here's to brave, energetic, adventure loving children. Shaken heart and all, I'm so glad to have one. And if you haven't read themotherhuddle blog, here it is: Enjoy!