Parenting can be so hard. There are the everyday stresses like getting everyone dressed and fed without incident or argument, getting kids to school or the family to church on time, and always making sure the cabinets and refrigerator are stocked for snacks and meals. There are also the bigger, deeper issues such as teaching our kids about Jesus, figuring out best discipline approaches, and raising kids with self-respect and kindness for others. For me, there is also an emotional conflict that I deal with: appreciating this stage of life and finding the joy in each and every moment while beating my head against the wall wondering if this stage will ever end.
And then there’s the basic issue of safety. It is our responsibility as parents to keep our children safe as much as we can with the limited control we really have. I have always worried about things like car accidents, terminal illnesses, lost limbs due to lawn mowers…you know, the same things everybody worries about. Right? Not so much? What I did not anticipate is the struggle I have keeping my children safe in our home. I didn’t anticipate this because I had no idea that I would one day give birth to monkeys.
Conner always had an issue with getting himself into predicaments. He had fear, for the most part. I always knew when he was in trouble because he’d scream loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear.
As seen here:
And here (please notice that he’s wearing the same pajamas in both pictures. It was a rough day for the poor kid):
He often got himself stuck, too. And, naturally, we got the camera instead of helping.
Rylan wasn’t nearly this adventurous. Our issue with him was that he would just disappear. It’s why we call him the Silent Ninja. He could move from the backyard to the front yard in 2.1 seconds without anyone ever seeing or hearing him move. It was scary. Our neighbors knew to do a visual sweep of the yard every minute or two, and the sweep was always followed with the question, “Where’s Ninja?” And then every adult went on a search looking for the stealth-like boy.
Typically, we’d find him safe and sound on the Wheelhorse. Happy as can be.
While Rylan wasn’t a big climber, we did face the challenge of knowing where he was and hoping he was making smart decisions. Unlike this moment in history, when we found him walking around the house like this:
And then the good Lord gave us Greyson. The child who knows no fear. The one whose silence clearly indicates impending doom.
Please notice that he is smiling in all of these pictures. He isn’t scared. He isn’t afraid of falling. And, he most certainly isn’t afraid of me. Perhaps it’s because whenever he sees a camera, he is distracted from his fear as he yells, “Cheeeeeese!” Or maybe it’s because he knows the ridiculous power he holds over me when he smiles like this:
He is my youngest. My baby. My Fearless Wonder. He owns me, and he knows it. Maybe I’m a little more relaxed this time around. The Lord knew I needed to relax a little. That’s why he made these monkeys…mine.