You know when you look at your child, really look at them, and see them? That’s me this week.
I mean, of course I see my kids every day, talk to them every day, cuddle them every day. But sometimes I need to take that step back and look at them and it’s then that I can see how much they are growing and changing.
Little Man is growing up. And to be honest, ‘Little Man’ is something of a misnomer as he’s quite tall for his age!
Little Man has always been my quieter child, my little introvert, quite content when staying home all day and left to his own devices. When he was a toddler and at preschool, he was very shy and not that keen on new people.
Now, when I say he’s my quiet child, don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s peaceful and easy-going at home. No, no, no, he’s also always been my more demanding child!
And somewhere along the way, his confidence has grown, and whilst he’ll probably always be quieter than his big sister, he has grown into himself and is a quietly self-assured boy.
Sport has definitely played a part.
A couple of years ago, he barely showed any interest in sports. We didn’t push him, we wanted him to find his own interests, his own way. And found them he has!
These days, there’s little he doesn’t know about Premier League football, and if he could play football all day, then read about football, then watch football, then talk about football, he’d be very content. Then from that initial love of the beautiful game, came a willingness to try more and more sports and activities.
These days he goes to dodgeball, football and athletics after-school clubs and he’s recently joined a local cricket club. He’d never even seen a game of cricket before, but he heard his friend was joining and decided to join too to see whether he liked it.
It’s this attitude that is making me really proud of him at the moment. To give things a go, to being open to new experiences and challenges.
When I think back to my 4 year old Little Man, reluctant to go to classes and groups, not keen on parties and unsure of pushing himself, and I see him now at 9, I am so proud of how far he has come.
I’m happy for him that he’s found passions and confidence in them. He’s also happy in Year 4 at school, he has a great group of friends and seems comfortable with his teacher. He and his best mate have been firm friends since they were at preschool and I am sure that friendship has played its part in his confidence too.
I look at him now and I can see how far he has come.
I see him running for school student council, winning the vote and then taking his role seriously.
I see it when he’s with his friends, having fun and chatting away happily.
I see it when he’s at his new cricket club, playing and joking with kids he doesn’t know, making friends with them quickly.
And I hear about it at his school parents’ evenings.
He is a loyal friend, kind to others, behaves well at school and he does well there.
As his parent, he can then be frustrating in that he is relentless when he wants something, relentless! But maybe when he grows up and develops this trait it could be a useful one to have, helping to drive him and focus him. This is what I tell myself!
That drive is definitely playing its part with his sport and happiness. Sport is intrinsically linked to my boy’s happiness, it means a lot to him.
Gaming is still a passion, I’ve not seen that wane since he discovered the PlayStation at a young age, but I’m more than happy for him to enjoy that when he balances his free time with this, sport, playing with his sister and reading. I’d say that pretty much sums up what he does with his free time. Oh, and watching YouTube. Of course!
I guess I just wanted to pause here for a moment and capture all that Little Man is, aged 9. I’ve not talked about him for a while, I think he deserves a mention here and there!
I guess I just wanted to stop and acknowledge how proud I am of him.
Keep doing all that you’re doing, Little Man. And be sure to enjoy it.