Maverick, Age 5.

Maverick, my oldest child, is by far my most challenging. He’s infuriating. Demanding. Intensely curious. Persistent. All of those qualities rolled into one means he keeps us very busy. Some of his personality traits don’t mesh well with my personality traits, and I have been humbled over and over and OVER again since I started this journey called motherhood. 

He’s a good kid, and I’m a good mom, but together … sometimes, we suck. And that’s okay. We just pick up and press on. As much as I struggle sometimes with how to best parent him, I know that with the right guidance he is going to be freaking amazing. I watch him march onto playgrounds and tell the other kids with brazen confidence “Hi! I’m Maverick. I’m the leader, and you can be my sidekicks. This is my little brother Asher – don’t be mean to him.” 

Then he proceeds to lay out exactly what game they’re going to play, and the kids follow him. They do what he says. He’s got that thing, whatever it is, that intangible air that lets people know he’s worth listening to. And if you don’t, well … he’s going to make you.

Today I looked at him, really looked at him, for the first time in awhile and I just wanted to cry. From exhaustion, from relief that we made it this far, from pride. My boy who used to follow me around and absolutely refused to do anything by himself and drove me up the WALL can now quietly play alone for hours at a time. He doesn’t want to be cuddled as much. 

The growth is so gradual that I will go weeks without noticing, and then all of the sudden I realize he’s bigger than the last time I really looked at him closely.

Me: Maverick, you’re a BLAST!

Maverick: I know.

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