For our family, the differences between boys and girls are quite clear. Evie is dependable, Vivian is patient and Mack is…Mack. He wakes up at 7 am and does not stop running until bedtime 12 hours later. His days are filled with flipping and jumping and climbing and wrestling. I cannot contain his energy. And, believe me, I tried.
Evie doesn’t understand her rambunctious brother. Content to color (in the lines) in coloring books, she loses patience when Mack zooms past. As the bruise on her cheek proves, she especially can’t comprehend why he wants to wrestle. I’ll never forget one night when Mack and Chris were “fighting” on the floor: Evie came up to me in tears because she thought there was a problem. I had to explain that her brother likes to play differently than she does.
I used to be so hard on parents when kids acted crazy, but now I know that so much is out of our control. Mack was born this way. Since he was a tiny baby he has been full of energy; he never lets his size or his age hold him back, and he never takes “no” for an answer. Here he is at six months of age climbing the stairs:
My Aunt Hope also has an active son sandwiched between his two calmer sisters. Her kids are older than mine, so she is a wonderful source of encouragement for me. Last summer she gave me some expert advice: Let Him Be. For his whole life other people will tell Mack to sit still and calm down and follow the line. As his mother I need to accept him for who he is, so I need to Let Him Be.
I took her advice immediately, and as soon as I let Mack be Mack, he started to settle down. He wasn’t fighting the world at home anymore, and his charming little personality emerged. Of course he is still rambunctious, but he’s more playful with his energy now.
I’ve decided I will no longer apologize for Mack’s energetic behavior. As long as he isn’t hurting anyone, I will Let Him Be. If he wants to run around naked all day…if he doesn’t want to share his new truck…if he wants to climb a too-tall tree…if he wants to turn the sofa into a trampoline…I will Let Him Be.
I know its a matter of time until we’re in the Emergency Room watching a doctor cast his leg or sew a stitch in his chin. But, I will always be there to calm him when he falls and snuggle him when he’s tired. He is my boy and I love him so!
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