He's My Baby and He Can Grow Up If He Wants To

My Baby Man was born on this day, six years ago.

Six years ago.

Can you even believe that My Baby is 6?

Six.

It took me a while to process this. I have been spazzing inwardly over it for a few months. I think I'm mostly over it now. And contrary to what you would think, it has very little to do with the fact that I don't really have a baby any longer.

It's actually much, much more embarrassing than that. I firmly believe that a parent should allow a child to be exactly who he is. I don't expect my 8 year old to behave like my 13 year old. (Okay, most of the time I don't.) I encourage my kids to find what they like and not push what I like on them. I allow them to explore the world around them in their own way.

We especially do this with Micah. Being the square peg kid in the family, I figure we'll follow his lead. He'll figure out what works best for him and we'll be there to encourage him in accomplishing the task.

For some reason, my mind tricked me into thinking that only worked through the toddler years. And somehow my brain told me that 5 is the end of toddler hood. Once my boy turned 6, my mind said, he needed to act like a 6 year old.

I'm ashamed of myself for buying into this thinking.

First of all, Micah is measured in more than his years. His chronological age actually matters very little in the general scheme of things. It's his mental age that we're most concerned with. And not because we're all about pushing him to higher intelligence, but because we want to know where he is so that we can meet him there and know what to expect of him because of that age.

Micah has grown so much in the last few months. He's getting very tall, and looking very non-toddler-like. This, coupled with the fact that I'll have to say "he's 6," had me freaked out. What would people think when he had meltdown in McDonalds because we got him chicken nuggets instead of a burger? He doesn't feel the need to tell us these things ahead of time, and asking him results in nothingness. Sometimes we make the wrong choice, and he gets frustrated that we can't read his mind.

What will people think when he runs off in Wal-Mart and won't listen when I ask him to stand quietly beside me? Treating him like a 4 year old when he looks like very much like the 6 year old that he is had me worried. What would people think of me as a parent? Would I be judged for not disciplining my child? Would they think that I was one of those parents? Would I be whispered about behind my back as the indulgent type who was doing her child a disservice?

And then finally, after months of the worry, I smacked myself upside the head and said, "Self, what is your problem? Who cares what those people think? If they judge you it's because they're using the Italian standard when clearly you're on the Holland scale. Don't you realize that your son isn't really six years old? Why would you expect him to act like one? And who cares what they think anyway? Isn't Micah your son, and not theirs? Wasn't he given into your care to raise because God chose you to be his mother? Are you saying, then, that God doesn't know what He's doing? That God expects Micah to be normal when He created Micah to be different on purpose? Self, get a grip and embrace your son for who he is."

So I did.

My boy is six years old today. We are so proud of him.

38 comments:

Gina said...

Happy Birthday, Micah!

Kaytabug said...

Tears. Happy Birthday to your baby.

I really like yourself!

Bluepaintred said...

Happy, Happy, happyhappyhappy Birthday Micah!! May this year bless you with all the love, learning and fun that you can handle!!

pghrugbyangel said...

Happy Birthday, Micah! And I think you should raise and treat him in the way you think is right. Obviously he's doing great and you've done a great job so far!

Frenchgirlrn said...

Happy Day!

What we think, we become.
Buddha

One of my favorite quotes...

Hugs to the amazing you and your amazing boy!

Michelle said...

Awww, happy birthday, Micah!

And I'm glad to hear you figured out that you do what you do and forget the others. Because if you didn't get to htat part in your post, I was going to have to remind you ;)

ALF said...

Happy Birthday to Micah!

justmylife said...

Happy Birthday Micah!!!

Karen said...

Happy Birthday Micah!!!!

I have to remind myself of the same things often. I am fortunate the my son is only the size of a four year old at seven. I avoid some of those looks that way. However, my youngest who is four is the size of a seven year old. That is when it gets tricky.... Thanks for the reminder.

HalfAsstic.com said...

How wonderful. The best "It is what it is, Looking love in the eye, We are completely guided by God, Happy Birthday speech I have heard in a very long time. Maybe ever! You are lucky to have Micah and he is so very lucky to be loved and raised by you!

the planet of janet said...

happy birthday to your baby!

Burgh Baby said...

Happy birthday to Micah!

And congrats, Karen, for finding your way back where you belong. You done good.

pb&j in a bowl said...

Happy Birthday, Micah!

And Karen, I must say you are an inspiration to all of us.

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Happy Birthday to your gorgeous little boy and big hugs to you - you have done, and continue to do an amazing job raising Micah (as well as Luke, Josh, and Becky), and are truly a model for the rest of us. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

SunflowerMom said...

Happy Birthday, Micah! YOu wonderful six year old!

Sidenote- wow, is he really as big as most 6 yr olds? Sean is so vertically challanged....

Trisha said...

Hapy sixth birthday, Micah!

Allison Says said...

Happy Birthday, Micah!

Flea said...

Happy birthday, Micah. And happy six, best mom of Micah ever. :)

JennyH said...

Happy 6th birthday!! Hope he had a great day.

Lovin Mama said...

Happy Birthday Micah!
I find my kids birthdays are so much harder than my own!

common mom said...

Wishing you a very happy 6th birthday, Micah!

Your mommy sounds like a wonderful person :-)

Kim said...

Happy Birthday Micah!

Aimee said...

And boy howdy is he CUTE! Happy Birthday, Micah -- we wish you God's blessings for many more happy ones :)

And good job talking yourself off the old parenting ledge, mama ;)

CC said...

Happy happy birthday!!!!!!! And you are so right! Don't worry about THEM. Let Micah be Micah!

mommaof4wife2r said...

oh precious micah...and his precious voice too! all getting so big! i love tht little dude...and i'm gla dhe gets to be just who he is!

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

I hear ya... even though its on a different level. My toddler (two and a half) is a big kid and always has been. I blogged awhile ago about how hard its been to deal with the comments and stares from people because he looks so much older than her is. Here's my entry address if you ever want to check out a little support in the "butt out of my kid's life" section. http://lovelaughslice.blogspot.com/2008/10/oh-no-she-didnt.html
Amen to what you said at the end though!

Cecily R said...

Happiest birthday Micah!

Karen, you are such a cool inspiration!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

He is beautiful. Happy Birthday, Micah!

Colleen said...

Happy Birthday Micah!!!!

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

This last picture is wonderful. It screams personality and love and adoration and wonderfulness.

Happy Birthday Micah!

Andrea said...

Six, already, wasn't he just four not too long ago? Wow, time sure flies!! Happy Birthday Micha!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!

angelaandconnor at gmail.com said...

Sooo Hansom!!! Happy Birthday Micah!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Smack that self again and remind her what an awesome Mom she is and if anybody iss talking about her, they're only weighing what all self can accomplish in a week compared to what they can.

He's a happy little boy, melt downs are expected at all ages (don't tell me differently, I'm sticking to that to feel better about my own parenting).

Trannyhead said...

Don't be getting all Mandarin on me, woman.

PS - my kid acts like a royal pain in the arse in public frequently. And I, the deranged mom, laughs. LAUGHS! As he writhes on the floor and stiffens and does the limp leg thing. I'm a sick woman.

TTG said...

happy birthday little guy, and congrats on being a great mom. This post made me cry it was that sweet.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Happy Birthday Micah!!!

p.s.
SO glad you had that talk with yourself. "Special" moms have to have these "special" talks with themselves every now and again (like when their man-cub turns 20 . . . er soon to be 21). Savor each day . . . it's your life and nobody else is going to savor it for you.

I love coming to play at the Rocking Pony. You're a gem and you share so freely. XO! (And here's one for the BIG boy XO!!!!!!)

Michelle said...

happy (belated!) 6th birthday to your very older looking boy! Yes when did that happen?! Such a beautiful picture of Micah!

Krista said...

And a very cute six he is! Define "normal".