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?”
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.