Thank heavens we grow with time. And not just upwards.
I won't lie that Lincoln's given me a run for my money more than any of my kids. There were days, weeks (years, perhaps), when I didn't know how things would work out with this kid. I felt hopelessly defeated, sure that I'd ruined him for life.
(doing homework...on the kitchen counter)
Lincoln's growing up. I'm growing up too. I finally feel like I'm learning how to parent Lincoln. Some kids are easy. Some kids kick your butt. And what's surprising me is that what he needs is no different than what every other kid in the world needs. Unconditional love. Encouragement. Positive affirmations. Patience. Time.
(his favorite birthday gift: a pocket watch)
What makes Lincoln different from my other kids is that he wears his heart, no, his entire soul, on his sleeve. Every emotion comes out one way or another. If he feels something, he's gonna let me know. The test for me then is, how am I going to react? With exasperation OR a desire to teach?
It's lame to admit that I'm pretty sure I've exhausted the exasperation technique. It doesn't work. Duh. I know it, I know it, I know it, but in the heat of the moment, in my anger and frustration, I've taken the low road, the impulsive road, the wrong road.
As his mother, more than anyone else, I see the best in Lincoln. I see his generosity in his willingness to share more readily than any of our kids. I see his tender-heart whenever I threaten to leave Annie behind at Grandma's house and, driving away, Lincoln bursts into tears, "Don't leave her, Mom. STOP!" I see his desire to do good, watching him read his bible every night since he got new scriptures for his birthday. The list goes on.
These things are what define Lincoln. These are the precursors of a strong, valiant, moral man. Focusing on the good, encouraging the good, and teaching through the good and the bad is what works for him, as well as helping him put his extremes in proper perspective. I am convinced that this process not only helps Lincoln, but, it's making something out of me too. I need it just as much as he does.
I love this kid.