The park, the future, and the checking in

Saturday~June 20, 2009

We go to the little park in our neighborhood nearly every day. Normally there's hardly anyone there because we live smack dab between two large cities, but a college and a golf course seclude us. So yesterday when the park was bombarded with a group of water gun wielding boys with sweaty faces all red from the heat, we were a bit surprised.

Bang! Bang! Bang! I gotcha! I'm gonna kill ya! POW!

We sat and watched for a few minutes as the boys carried on with their pretend war. After a few minutes I got to witness one of the distinct differences between my two boys. They each handled their park being overtaken by a band of violent water gun carrying hoodlums very differently.

Miles lurked. I mean, if he were reading blogs, he'd go undetected. He'd undermine any site meter. Anyway, he ducked under slides and positioned himself behind poles like an agent on the trail of America's very most wanted. He didn't make a sound. He just watched, mouthing all kinds of responses and certainly imagining the demise of the intruders at his hand. Occasionally he'd (stealthily) check in with me, quietly pointing out the whereabouts of his enemies. Then he'd be off again, his shoes flinging up tiny pebbles as he ran.

He never talked to the aggressors, who remained loud and boisterous, but I could tell he really really wanted to tell them he'd like to either kick them out, or join in on their game. And soon enough he was a silent part of it, slinking his way in without disturbing anyone. The bigger boys stopped here and there as if surprised to find they had a small joiner. But one look at Miles and they just carried on, including him in their antics.

That Miles, he approaches things carefully, tentatively sizing up the situation and slowly gaining the confidence that defies his chewed fingernails and racing heart.

Asher, on the other hand, sat at the end of his slide the whole time we were there, casually and repeatedly asking me to dump the tiny pebbles from his shoes while guarding his territory. He occasionally pointed and grunted, making sure I was aware that there were other people, very loud and crazy people, at the park. "Yes I see, Sweetie. Thanks for checking in."

When the big boys grew closer, their game moving toward the toddler area where Asher and I were sitting, Asher's small slide was suddenly being approached.

BANG! You're dead! I gotcha!

Without hesitation, Asher picked up one of his shoes, pointed it directly at the biggest boy in the group and yelled, "pew pew pew!" He was loud and focused, eyes full of bravado, obviously very proud of himself and his shoe gun. So the bandits shrugged and ran off into the trees.

That Asher, he doesn't think twice, he just moves. He acts. A flash of fear and then a powerful response.

These two boys of mine, so entirely different in so many ways, but equally totally awesome.

What will this mean for school, for love, for life? I can't wait to watch, and I hope they always know they can stop by to check in with me.

22 clicked right here to comment:

Mylestones said...

Isn't it crazy to see the differences come out in our kids so early in life? But I'm so with ya on this--the differences only highlight for me how uniquely wonderful they are--makes me love 'em all the more.

And I totally wish I could've heard little Asher "pew pew pew" the brains out of the big boys!

Kristina P. said...

You have such sweet boys. I'm sure they definitely have that in common.

CC said...

Love the blogging analogy. So we can all relate!!! ;) Great retell of their little personalities.

Susan B. said...

Yes, I can see that. Asher is the more outgoing of your two. For me, I think my older boy is the one who would have joined in the gunfight :) They are both so fun and so sweet!!

Sabrina said...

I love hearing stories about your boys! They are precious!

P.S. I got your message. Kelly called you from my phone earlier this week to invite you to the play. Thus the reason I showed up on your caller id. :)

Cynthia said...

It's so fun to watch their little personalities develop and manifest. One of the things I most enjoy about my own is how different they all are. LOVE the shoe gun- that little guy isn't about to take anyone's crap!

Kazzy said...

One of my fave childrens books is called "I Love You The Purplest" and it fits this situation so so well. It also fits each of my two sets of boys. Great post.

L.T. Elliot said...

How frickin' darling is this post?! I love that Miles was lurking and Asher just stood his ground. Those pictures are just to die for! But don't do that. Because I love your posts too much!

JCK said...

Isn't it fun to notice the huge differences in your children to the same event? You recounted this so well. I could picture it! I imagine in a few years you will be able to look back on this and say...yep, they reacted like that back then. So fun!

D said...

Aw. What a sweet moment of insight into the vast differences of your two little boys.

I too cannot wait to see how my son's personality manifests itself into adult decisions.

Great Post.

jen@odbt said...

It is pretty interesting how siblings come from the gene pool but can have such different personalities. I'm enjoying seeing how aspects of my kids' personalities are growing and changing and sometimes staying the same. Fun post.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Sometimes you remind me so much of my friend Rosie that it hurts. She was very much the mother you are.

Jen said...

what a great story.

Stesha said...

We have 7 little personalities in our household, and it's always fun to watch how they each react to the same situation.

Hug and Mocha,

Anonymous said...

What a fun comparison! My mother-in-law and I were chatting today about how crazy it is that children show their personalities so early on. I am excited to watch Anja grow up, too...her stubbornness has got to be useful for something great, right? :)

Carrie said...

This is so fun - I'm pretty sure in this situation my little boy would be glued to my leg, or saying, 'Up! Up!', but he's only 18 months. I'm sure he'll get more adventurous. :)

We were at the park this week, and my little guy saw a 9-month-old baby bump his head, and cry, and he watched that baby, and I could tell he wanted to go comfort him...he was whispering, "Hi...hi" which is what he says to make anybody feel better. :) He is such a compassionate soul. :)

Debbie said...

In my limited experience with my own kiddos, the one who can brandish his own gun with the big guys is the one you will worry less about. The cautious ones you carry more in your heart for fear they will get hurt.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

My two boys are so different too, and I play out in my minds what these differences will mean as they grow up and face life. I think about it a lot. I have faith they'll both be just fine, but the mother in me flinches a lot as I observe. Love your observations here, lady. :)

sara said...

My kids are the same...they all approach life differently. sometimes that makes me crazy as I try to figure them out, other times I am so grateful to not have 2 of any kind!!!

The amazing thing is that as they got older, some of the roles switched!!!

keeps you on your toes!!

Lisa said...

It definitely makes the job of parenting more challenging. It takes time to get to KNOW our kids as they change and grow and we also have to learn how to relate to the one(s) that are so different from us. OR, exactly the same. :)

They both sound so sweet!

Motherboard said...

I love the way you write!

radioactive girl said...

This is so perfect!

I could spend all day watching my kids reactions to things. My kids are a bit older than yours and now that they are in school, it is amazing to see how their differences play out. I agree, equally totally awesome. What a perfect way to sum it up!

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