Boys are rough by nature, but I continue to be astonished by what I see on a daily basis from my sons.
They are brutal with each other but the only ones who seem to take umbrage are their parents.
It’s tough to discipline one for blindsiding when the other — who was just decked from behind — is laughing behind my back in a fashion that makes me think this sort of roughhousing is actually fun for them.
Although Beckett is clearly the aggressor among the two, Carson likes to mix it up as well. He’s a glutton for punishment sometimes and I know he is aware of what he’s doing.
Oftentimes, I will see Carson walk on to the trampoline in the middle of Beckett jumping and deliberately get in his way causing him to crash atop him. Beckett will then show his frustration with what he calls “some wrestling moves.”
That terminology is laughable because there is no wrestling involved. There are just open handed slaps to the back, kicking, pushing and shoving mixed in with some deliberate tripping in an effort to knock his little brother down. Of late, there appears to be some sort of headlock added to his arsenal of brother beat downs.
What I have noticed recently is Carson’s newfound desire to see his big brother get in trouble. There’s no question he now baits him and lets him fall into his trap.
He was caught in the act the other morning while we were loading into my truck to head to school. Carson was first in and threw Beckett’s booster seat out the door onto the driveway, for some strange reason. I was proud of Beckett for not lashing out at his little brother.
By the time I got around to the driver’s seat, Carson was whining in a familiar fashion, holding his arm and pointing at Beckett, signing he had hurt him. His plan to get his brother in trouble was foiled because I watched the two of them the entire time and Beckett never touched him.
When I called Carson out on it, he landed a haymaker atop Beckett’s head and then they exchanged blows the rest of the way to school.
It was not my best parenting moment, but I just watched to see what happened, saying, “Go ahead beat the crap out of each other if you won’t listen to me.”
Beckett immediately stopped what he was doing, saying, “I’m going to tell mommy you said a bad word.”
The bottom line was I have seen much worse and nobody got hurt. Sometimes that’s simply the goal.
There’s an undeniable bond among parents of similar aged kids and I’m thankful for it.
It’s comforting to know others are sharing in this “go-go-go” mentality that is life with kids at times. While we try extremely hard to retain family time on the weekend, and usually are successful, there are times during the week when I just have to laugh at all the running around we do.
Each week varies with other appointments or surprises, but there are always daily runs to and from school, sports, karate and after-school activities. This is not to mention work.
I think all parents have several basic things in common. There’s the whole unconditional love, will to support and care and instinct to protect, but we are also all juggling our responsibilities.
Each day involves a lot of it. Without organization and planning, the balls that represent certain responsibilities would overwhelm, bring more challenges and could easily stress you out.
Sometimes I admit it gets the best of me because of the distractions that come with juggling multiple facets of personal and professional duties, but I constantly remind myself these are special times and one day I will miss all of it.
The comforting part of this journey is finding parental colleagues who are carrying the same load. Throughout my daily travels, I often see a friend, the mother of one of Beckett’s classmates who is swimming in the same proverbial lake as we are. I frequently see her driving on Route 50 or Main Street on the way to school, after school or to kids’ extracurricular activities.
I can’t help but smile because it somehow makes the mad dashing around I’m in the midst of a little easier to handle. That’s especially so while quizzing my son on his reading test the next day and he’s answering me with, “how long does it take to get to California by jet?” or “If I do a good job tonight in karate, can I stay up till 9?”
Somehow, and it doesn’t make the juggling any less challenging, there’s a comfort level in seeing others carrying out the same parenting duties. It’s reassuring to see visible signs there’s company in this crazy adventure called parenting.