Graduation Day 2014.

I’m having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around how my kid went from this roly-poly wad,

To this handsome boy, the youngest in his class, graduating from Kindergarten with an award in Reading Excellence.

He wants to be a geologist when he grows up. I told him he can be whatever he wants to be. He’s Maverick. He’s a doer. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but something’s going to happen. That’s just how it is.

It’s weird how intimately you know your child, without them realizing you know them at all. I see qualities in him that he isn’t even aware of yet. I’m so proud of him, and so proud of me, because for a very long time I struggled and felt like I was failing because he was just … well, he was just awful. But now I think the awfulness is behind us because he understands that he doesn’t run our house.

It took a very long time for him to come to this understanding.

Maverick does not cower under authority figures, older kids, or bigger kids. Robbie and I took our three to the park a few months ago and we saw some of our friends there. One of the little girls climbed up a pole and was sitting on a bar. A mean little boy started yanking on her leg, trying to pull her down. Robbie and I noticed this because we heard Maverick’s voice, calm and clear cutting across the playground:”What are you doing? Leave her alone.”  

But the mean kid didn’t leave her alone, and Maverick didn’t back down. The kid pushed Maverick, but he stood his ground. He asked the boy to leave his friend alone, and the boy pushed him again and again, harder and harder. Maverick just popped right back, undeterred. Robbie and I discussed if we should get involved, but we decided no. We waited.

That was hard.

The mean kid ended up punching Maverick and it erupted into a fight, so we intervened at that point. I don’t want my son getting into playground fights on the regular, but I was proud of him for standing up for his friend. I was proud of him for not being afraid. I may have trouble knowing how to deal with some of his qualities, but I love his boldness — even when it manifests in questioning me. I love that he doesn’t just accept an answer. He pushes for more information, more explanation, more examples. 

So to my son I’ll say today, and again when he graduates from high school and then hopefully college: never stop pushing for more. There is an endless amount of knowledge, love, and fun to be had. 

I want you to have it all.

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