Thing 1

Hyperbole

I exaggerate a lot of my qualities around her for the sake of entertainment. I’m sure we all do that. While it’s very true that my domestic skills are not perfect, I never clean my bathtubs or my baseboards and my blinds? Halloween decorations on their OWN…my house is always presentable. I may prefer you to announce your arrival so I can dust or lint-brush the couches or something…but if you stop by unexpected? My house is always picked up enough for company. And while I watch a lot of TV? I watch it on the DVR and fast-forward through most of the shows so that many 1-hour shows are watched in 15 minutes. And while I’m not a seamstress or a scrapbooker? I am much more crafty than I let on around here. So…the Horrible Cleaner/Couch Potato/Craft Challenged Zoot? Is a mild exaggeration of the real version.

But there is one thing I often fear people think I exaggerate when I don’t…and that is how completely amazing LilZ is.

I don’t talk as much about him as I’d like because he’s getting old enough to find that mildly embarrassing, but I’m feeling it today. The need to gush. Maybe it’s because one of his friend’s Mom took a very deliberate moment out to tell me how awesome she thinks he is (which, as a parent, is the most wonderful thing in the world), maybe it’s because he’s home all day this week during Fall Break and I’m reminded how much I miss his company, maybe it’s because I’m taking hormones to deal with some crazy ovarian cysts, but today? I want to get sappy about my son.

While the kids were napping yesterday, he came to me and said, “Do you want to take the kids to a park or something when they wake up?”

SERIOUSLY!

So we took the kids to the park and we played. He chased his sister and caught his brother going down the slide. I didn’t have to beg him to play with his siblings, it was his idea. Now, if he had to choose between a movie with friends and the park with his siblings…he’d choose his friends. But the second best thing in his life? What he calls, “My babies.”

His high school offers a parenting class and he joked that he thought about taking it for an easy “A.” Then he realized it might be too easy and boring. And he’s probably right. If he is half as involved with his kids one day as he is with his brother and sister? He’ll be a better Dad than I am a Mom. He lets them destroy his room, he watches Disney channel with them, and he takes them trick-or-treating. And it’s not just the fun stuff…

This weekend he and I were watching some TV while I was trying to bounce AndyZ to sleep. He was fussy due to his teeth and was just fighting the nap. So LilZ offered to try. We spent the next 45 minutes or so going back and forth, both trying to bounce him to sleep while he moaned in pain. It’s not the fun part of parenting by any means…but he offers his help. Even when I don’t ask.

But I ask a lot. I am always asking for his help. I also reward him often (he attended a spontaneous sleep over last night after a hard day helping me put Halloween decorations up) but I am very confident he would help even without the rewards. It’s in his eyes, his voice, his actions…he loves those kids. Some kids grow up never knowing what a 2 parent household is like. I was one of those kids. But my youngest? Will also wonder what a 2-parent household is like because they are growing up withe the benefits of three. And one of those three parents? Is totally their favorite.

31 thoughts on “Hyperbole”

  1. Did you put magic grow on his cereal? Recently I was revisiting photo albums online (in bed with what they thought was Swine flu) and I saw your wedding pics. He was just a little kid. He is now MAN size. What a man he is growing up to be. You should be loud and proud of him!

  2. Though I’ve only met him a few times, I know that he is a truly great kid. However, great kids just don’t happen (in my opinion anyway), they come from great parents. Therefore, you do deserve a lot of kudos for raising such a great kid. I’m sure the other two will be just as great because of their parents. ;o)

  3. Hannah Swain Løvik – Stockholm, Sweden – Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Hannah has wholeheartedly embraced the Nordic knitting tradition. Even as her yarn stash threatened to take over their small apartment, Hannah decided to start sewing. Her partner is very tolerant of her fiber-related addictions but does not like pins or needles. Previously a Microsoft SharePoint consultant, Hannah now works as a WooCommerce Happiness Engineer on the payments team at Automattic.
    Hannah says:

    Now you’re making ME go all sappy! He sounds like an awesome kid. And those are some amazing pictures. No hyperbole intended, promise! 🙂

  4. Every time you post a picture of LilZ playing with NikkiZ or AndyZ it’s completely obvious that he is an amazing big brother and son. If there were someone I could bribe to guarantee that my future children would be as awesome as he is, I’d be paying them every cent I have.

  5. I love that bottom photo of your son. People always shake their heads at me and want to commiserate about how horrible teenagers are, but really I think mine are pretty awesome people. And one of the things I enjoy the most is watching them interact with their youngest siblings. (now the ones closest in age to them are a whole ‘nother story)

  6. I hope you’re happy – you made me cry at work! That was so beautiful. You are very lucky, and are an awesome mom to have such an amazing kid.

  7. LilZ is someone who would never talk about someone behind their back, he always has a compliment to make you feel great, he is always helping anyone that needs it, and he never complains. He is one of those people that you want to surround yourself with because he is a POSITIVE person, he brings you up instead of putting you down. I hope that my sister always remains of of his friends because he makes her sooooo happy! Good job Miss Zoot!! Hehe

  8. Yeah I teared up reading this on the bus to work today. Such a sweet post. That’s so sweet of LilZ to help with the kids and be so active and involved with them. They will appreciate that so much when they get older. And that picture of all three of them on the swings is adorable too, poor AndyZ looks so jealous he’s strapped in the swing.

  9. You need to send him my way so he can teach some punks in the family how to treat their siblings. I think it’s awesome that he is so great with the younger kids. It gives me hope for this generation.

  10. Kim, my own mother STILL talks about what neat kid LilZ is! He made quite the impression on her when they met at BlogHer 06. As he did on me.

    However, I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. It is no chance accident that he is a kind, generous soul.

  11. He is such an awesome big brother! I also grew up with three parents- mom, dad, and a sister who is 10 years older than me. I know how blessed your little ones are. You have a great family Zoot!

  12. I’m hoping E is reading the comments on this one! He’s definitely the coolest kid I’ve never met.

  13. Kudos to you for raising him up to turn out to be such a great teenager brother, friend and son! It’s important that he knows he’s special and loved for all those great qualities. Way to go mom! and LilZ!

  14. I don’t comment often but what you wrote is just wonderful. Something to print and keep and give to his future wife so she knows how absolutely lucky she is to have such a special person in her life.

  15. You made me cry! DAMMIT!!!

    E is totally awesome!! Beyond awesome!! Piper talks about her sister, but NEVER sees her!! Nevers hears from her!! *sigh*

    E gets all kinds of Kudos in my book!!

  16. Kim…I am holding back tears. What did you do? How did you raise such a selfless and amazing son. I have an eight year old son (who was raised in a single p;arent home until last year) and am expecting a baby girl next month. He is a wonderful little boy, but I am not so sure if he will be as willing as LilZ to be such a helpful big brother. I know he will love his sister, and he can’t wait for her to get here. If you have any advice I would love it.

  17. That’s great. I love hearing about how unbelieveably awesome your first-born is. Seriously, when they made that kid they must’ve broken the mold.

  18. I don’t delurk often, but I have to comment here. I’ve been reading your blog and watching your flickrstream for years, long before the babies were born, and I have seen through your pictures and your posts how wonderful E is. I think he’s a terrific big brother. I teach high school and the biggest compliment I can give is that I would be happy if he were in my class — he just seems like a well-rounded and very grounded young man.

    Lucky you.

  19. Beautiful! I have tears….
    What a wonderful son, he must have a wonderful mom who taught him everything he knows!

  20. Wow. Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I used to have a strange desire to have a daughter at 16 and raise her and be her best friend (not like the pregnancy pact girls or anything, more like when you imagine an alternate route your life might have taken and wish you could experience it without actually giving up your actual life, which you (I) love :)). So, while I have no doubt it was incredibly tough to be a very young single mother working your way through school, etc., I am also jealous of you, in a way. You have a child that is also your best friend, which is a rare and special thing.

    And I must second, his awesomeness is a testament at least partially to a parent who loves the crap out of him.

  21. I must be hormonal as well–because I teared up just reading this post. Gotta live LilZ. He’s just a good person.

  22. I hope my son is as awesome with siblings when he gets them…at the rate I’m going it won’t be until he’s 12…

  23. This got me all choked up. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…I wish I’d had an older brother like LilZ when growing up!

  24. Holy smokes, that kid is great! You are so fortunate!

    And Zoot, if you don’t stop posting things like this that make me get all teary-eyed, I’m going to have to stop reading you at work!

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