Letting your flowers grow

A recent blog post titled “When The Petals Drop” by Sean (aka @writerdad on Twitter) prompted me to share some of my ‘petal’ moments with my boys. We generally don’t notice some transition points our children make but when we do, they’re quite powerful, even after time has slowly (or quickly) passed by.

  • Since age 6, my eldest (now 7) needed no help buckling his seat belt. Master 4 can put on one of his 2 belts in his child seat. I cannot remember the turning point where 7 no longer needed our help – now I think back on it, it’s all a blur. Where did that time go? I know that one day too soon 7 will be out of the sbooster eat and 4 will take it over.
  • Tonight, Master 4 says “I’m longer than the bath now” and he sure is – I can remember washing him in the bath when he was a bub; I looked at him and wondered when he got so tall ? He’s in pre-school now (and loving it) but will be ending that part of his life at the end of the year, off to big school like his brother.
  • Master 4 can now make breakfast for the family (except we have a rule that they are not to use the Microwave for porridge without an adult – some mornings I wonder where they would find such a person *grin*). Whilst on the surface this may not be a ‘big thing’, it shows a streak of independence I’m not sure we’re ready for?
  • Both boys dance and sing around the house and love listening to music – before the end of a song at least one of them are able to hum along with the melody and sometimes even pick up some of the words. Current favourites are Do You Know Your Enemy (Green Day) and Foreign Land (Eskimo Joe). When they started to sing and dance (especially Master 4) I cannot recall.

Like Sean, I, too have had a chance to just ‘watch’ Master 4 at Pre-school, but only for a few mins before he saw me and rushed over. During reading time, he was engaging well with the teacher whilst reading a story, interacting and following intently.

As parents, it’s our aim to best prepare our children for their later years. Children are ‘on loan’ to us for such a brief period of their lives – it’s up to you to lay the groundwork that will see them succeed once they mature and find their own way in the world. Having such a chance that Sean describes to see your children in their environment is truly priceless:

It was wonderful to see Max as a student without him knowing I was there. He sang, he danced, he took turns. He said thank you, he smiled, he laughed.

Enjoy the times you do have with your children, as best you can. Whilst both Sean & my accounts are personal, I’ll take this moment to recognise those who are not able to spend time with their children for a myriad of reasons; for most parents, we all hope our children will grow up to be happy, healthy members of society, and this hope weighs heavily on everyone’s heart & mind.

I’m off to play with my boys in the wonderful winter sun!

5 replies on “Letting your flowers grow”

Lovely joyful post Andrew. It’s wonderful to hear you treasuring these precious moments. It is a strange feeling to realise that suddenly your child can do things independently, almost without our noticing, in the busy lives we live. I remember suddenly noticing such milestones with my two and wondering just when they had suddenly become such capable, confident little people.
Keep enjoying and encouraging your boys Andrew, with a thoughtful caring dad like you, I am sure that they will be wonderful men in 20 odd years

I think you must have very lucky children. So many times men take the role of uninterested observer in their children’s lives. For you to be so involved and observant is wonderful.

Your flowers will be beautiful and bountiful by the time they mature. I truly feel it is better to build a child than to repair an adult. Children need a strong foundation and a sense of independence in order to succeed in life. Your children obviously have this.

I always tell my son how proud I am and that I love him. I too realize how fast the time has went by. It seems just yesterday he was born and now he is 9. I almost feel that I missed it all. It seems a little sad when you think back on it. But, I know in the end, that I will have raised a wonderful man and hopefully, future husband and father. This makes be happy. In the end, happiness in growing ones flowers is one of the most important things.

Good luck growing your flowers… happy gardening!

It’s coming up to 6 years now since I have seen my two sons.
Last time I saw them, my eldest was in Grade 2, enjoying life, and wanting to be a marine biologist. This year he would have started high school, but I have no idea what he is up to.

My youngest was enjoying his last year at kinder, loving anything blue, wearing silky boxer shorts (on the outside) , and wanted to go fishing for dolphins.

Every single day it eats at me that I don’t see them. What makes it worse is having won the court cases, but still not seeing them. Add to that paying child support, and paying extra because I don’t see them, and it really tears me apart.

@Sharon – Thanks Sharon – although 20 years ‘seems’ a long time away I am sure it’ll fly past even quicker than it has in the past!

@Judy – I really enjoyed reading your line “it is better to build a child than to repair an adult”, and is similar to the building analogy, that every building needs a strong foundation. I am sure your 9yr old will mature into a wonderful man. We can’t hope for too much more in this world except for our children to mature into great, happy people – what they do and how they should do it is going to be largely as a response to how they were ‘grown’ 🙂

@Rebecca – Yes, it would be hard to not have access to your children, especially in their younger years. I can’t say I know what it’s like to be in your shoes but do understand your comments. Time will tell how things will pan out, even if it doesn’t look too promising right now.

@Writerdad – Well, I am honoured to be the first! Also, isn’t that what the internet is about, taking something and putting your own story to it? In any case you’ve reminded all of us to take more time out to allow us those special moments with our children

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