Tuesday, July 28, 2009

my 21-month-old battleship

since michael has been staying home with luke this last month (at least more than i have), he's often eager to get all three of us out of the house when we have the chance. today, he recommended the mall. so, we headed north to a local mall with a great play place for children.

i had taken luke here for a playdate probably six months ago. then, most of the children playing were toddlers and preschoolers. still, he was overwhelmed and it took a long time for him to warm up to some of the smaller structures. i figured this afternoon would be better because he's been there before.

yeah, not so much.

late this afternoon, most of the children playing were "big kids," elementary-age children who were really too big to be there. and they were running. luke finally got up the gumption to explore and not 30-seconds later, a six-year-old plowed him down. literally. at least the kid stopped to make sure he was okay, but by that point, i was already holding luke. he realized after a few tears that he wasn't hurt so he hopped down to wander some more. again, 30-seconds later he couldn't find me and panicked.

it was all over at that point. my non-cuddler was quite content to sit on my lap and watch the other kids. he made one more attempt to wander three feet away to a crocodile, but a big kid came by right as he got there and he was back to my lap in .7 seconds.

the child is not what you might call adventurous. granted, he is teething and not feeling super great, but in new situations where he's not acclimated, he's never been adventurous. if it doesn't seem "safe," he's hesitant, testing the waters with his big toe and then running back to play in the sand.

i love my son. with all my heart, i love him. more than i thought possible, in fact. but, as i am the adventurous one in our marriage, i've had to come to grips with the fact that my son is not like me. what's more, he's not like i would choose for him to be.

i see being adventurous as an asset, a character trait to be lauded. brave. bold. unafraid. exciting. whole-hearted. unabashed. explorers, after all, get all the glory. lewis and clark. neil armstrong. columbus.

and yet, there is one i love even more than luke who exhibits the same hesitancy and, at times, uncertainty. in him, i (usually) see this as a trait to be greatly admired. it's one reason i fell in love with him. it brings stability to my chaos. it protects me from jumping off the deep end. it keeps me sane when i take on more than i should.

when michael and i were first married and beginning to realize the impact this specific difference would have on our marriage, he decribed our relationship to me in an analogy i still remember when i'm frustrated by his slow decision-making patiently waiting for him to come to a decision i made my mind up about three days prior.

he said he's a battleship and i'm a destroyer. (hang with me here...he had to explain it to me, too.) destroyers move quickly and flit back and fort within the fleet. they're made to move fast and to take out smaller targets. battleships are huge ships. they take a long time to change direction, but when they do, they are the most powerful of all ships. and when all that power is chanelled in one direction, its a force to be reckoned with.

i'm coming to terms with the fact that i probably don't have a son who is a destroyer. he's a battleship. all 23 lbs of him. he's a 21-month-old battleship.

and one that i love with all my heart.


Bethany said...

This is such a good reminder to love my kids for who they are. I love this analogy.

Mimi said...

Good post! Even better analogy!

Desiree' said...

That is a great analogy. Hang in there destroyer! :)

Sarah M. said...

This is a great post!