nine, and five

For his ninth birthday, my eldest son asked to go to the Lego headquarters in Denmark, which came as no surprise, given his aspirations of becoming a Lego Master Builder.

He would probably make an excellent master builder: he is creative and also logical. He would probably make an excellent anything. He loves science and comics. Basketball and bike riding, drawing and reading. He likes to play chess. He is sensitive and thoughtful. He has a great sense of humor. He is musical. He is kind. He is handsome and tall. He is thoughtful, helpful and curious. He is special in the most unassuming and magnetic of ways.

I am mostly too hard on him. I ask too much of him, and he is mostly so patient and so good.

If only he had a mother worthy of him! (If only both my sons did!)

Five and I are enjoying a quiet holiday weekend at home while almost-Nine spends a few days on his own with his father. Five and I rarely have the luxury of having each other all to ourselves for so many days at a time, and it is a treat. It is as if we were given a birthday gift too. Five is exuberant and mischievous, strong-willed and capricious. Although I profoundly understand his frustration when demands are made of him or when he is expected to compromise his principles or put his needs behind others, and where others might see inflexibility I see strength of character, it is not always easy being his mother.  Especially when I find compromise and flexibility just as challenging. But when I have the gift of time to devote to him, not to rush him, not to demand too much of him, he is a delight.

When Nine returns from Denmark, I’m sure he’ll seem bigger and older to our unaccustomed eyes. I wonder if we will seem different to him, too.


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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6 Responses to nine, and five

  1. Katerina says:

    I’m sure you’re the ONLY mother worthy of them!!!

  2. I Say Oui says:

    I think it’s awesome that you appreciate each of your kids’ unique qualities. 🙂

  3. Gil says:

    I don’t know anything about you except for what you write, but I don’t think that you should be selling yourself short. From the sounds of things you seem to be a very good and nurturing mother to your sons. Still can’t believe how fast time flies. Happy Easter!

  4. sullimaybe says:

    The only mother indeed.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thank you!!! What wonderful comments! 🙂

    I think it is mainly how I fall short of my ambitions of being more patient and understanding with them. Whenever I seem to attain a reasonable balance between their needs and mine, some new factor pops up and it evades me, yet again.

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