I can't decide if I'm:
A) The meanest mom ever, OR
B) A very loving mother who wants her child to feel inspired by possibility every single day.
See, there's this rock.
Much like his Momma, The Boy has a thing for collecting rocks. Yesterday, he acquired this beauty somewhere at school. He shared it with a classmate during recess and she returned it safely to him at the end of that break. Cute, sweet, he's sharing and learning to trust others. But the story doesn't end there.
The Boy and Classmate share some passion for adventure and possibility. Upon her suggestion, he has been trying to find the treasure map secretly encoded on the surface of this rock for the past fifteen minutes. He's carefully breathed on it. He's given it a good bath. He's held it up to the morning light. I only see some really cool lines, but he thinks it might be part of the path for the treasure map.
At my core, I'm melting right now. This is a magical age when anything can happen. If you just believe hard enough, your dreams can come true. It's wide-eyed wonder because everything clicks and there's SO much to learn and I just want him to be happy and optimistic and amazing forever. It breaks my heart a little to know that at some point, solid realities will intervene and the magic won't be awe-inspiring. He'll have to grow up; and worse, so will I.
That's not to say that I'm not mostly a grown up now. I get the bills paid. I get the people fed. I keep CPS from knocking on our door. I still seek out magic at every turn. I pray for miracles and am truly thankful for ALL of my blessings. Still, there's this one thing that NO ONE ever told me about parenting. As he grows, I grow. He has to learn how to survive and thrive as a human being -- the good and the bad -- and I have to let him. I have to learn how to sit on my hands and watch the heartache develop and crush him. I have to let him learn how to deal with it. I can be there as support; to let him know that he's not alone, but he has to discover and develop the skills himself.
In this moment, I see that I have two options:
A) Start verbalizing (repeatedly, because he LOVES magic as much as I do) that it's just a rock; but we can find scientific reasons to love it, still. OR
B) While he's sleeping, I can try to paint a treasure map on this bugger and see what happens next. Maybe we'll hunt for treasure in the backyard, because the map just happens to match it. Maybe we find something amazing and have a memory of love to keep him going when he's a parent someday far from now.
I haven't decided, but it's going to be weighing heavy on my head and heart; even after I decide.