Jonahbug is my oldest and my only boy. I always envisioned my boy being a rough and tumble type, the stereotypical playing in the mud and always having skinned knees kind of kid. Instead, I got someone much more special than I could have imagined.
Jonah enjoys playing the dirt and being messy, but he also has a deep love of books and is obsessed with learning. He loves dinosaurs and dragons and creatures. He is truly, unbelievably bright and remembers everything. He only needs to hear a dinosaur fact once to have it memorized and repeatable at any given time. His mental library of names and facts is beyond what a 5 year old really should be capable of.
He is sensitive and loving towards his mommy (lucky me!) and loves his sisters. Haven is his playmate and is his best friend/foe. They argue and drive each other nuts but they are also nearly inseparable. Laelynn is his buddy and I love that he taught her how to roar like a dinosaur. He is very protective of her and loves to make her laugh. His daddy is his superman who can do no wrong and always fixes everything. Dinosaur toy stop roaring? Put it on daddy’s desk and it gets new batteries. Book page ripped? Put it on daddy’s desk and it comes back taped up. The antenna on his RC car popped off? Put it on daddy’s desk and specifically request gorilla glue and it will be fixed in no time.
If you peeked into our house at any given time, you would find Jonah elbow deep in legos, studying his newest animal book, watching nat-geo animal specials, or setting up scenes with his many plastic dinosaur “friends”. His imagination is his second greatest strength, next to his intelligence. He loves making up wonderful adventures and writing stories. Last night he came out of the shower with this revelation:
“Mom, did you know that there are three dragon laws?”
“No, I didn’t. What are they?”
“Ok I will tell you. The three dragon laws are, number one, be patient, number two, make sure all the dragons have fire, and number three, be DANGEROUS!”
*insert roar here*
“And if you break the dragon laws, you get thrown into the dungeon of lions in Canada!”
(Hahaha! I have no idea where the Canada part came in but I think the lion’s den came from the story of Daniel he heard on Sunday.)
He’s an amazing little man.
He is fantastically smart and sweet, but he does struggle with fear, particularly of physical challenges.
I don’t care that he is not likely destined to be an olympic athlete, but I do want him to discover the courage inside himself to overcome challenges. I don’t want him to ever compare himself to other boys and feel anything less than confident in who he is. As someone who grew up second guessing everything about myself and always viewing myself as a “less-than”, I know how damaging that can be. That’s why I was so proud of him when he took a big personal step and overcame a challenge earlier this year at the Strawberry Festival.
From the moment he saw it, he could not wait to go through the “Jungle Walk”. It was like a funhouse/playground/obstacle course that required you to climb a rope latter, go through slides, cross bridges, and other basic challenges. I knew it was going to be difficult for him, in fact, we had encountered the “Jungle Walk” before at a carnival and he tried it then and immediately melted down and quit. This time, he wanted to go through with Haven, who was also excited to go but barely (actually, not quite) tall enough. I was hoping that her enthusiasm would inspire him to get through it but unfortunately, the opposite happened. The second challenge overwhelmed him and his reaction sent Haven into a panic as well. They were too terrified to accept help from the workers so I was allowed in to help.
It was going to be difficult to back out and I wanted them to finish what they had started so we finished it together. And, by “together” I mean that I basically carried Haven who was crying through the whole thing while I literally pushed Jonah down the slides with my feet while he screamed. Yeah. It was not our proudest moment.
However, something clicked in Jonah the second we had completed it and he suddenly did a complete 180 degree turn. “Mommy, I wanna do it again!!!!” he screamed as we walked back to Michael. “Are you sure? I am not coming back in to get you again. You will have to do it by yourself.” I answered. He insisted that he could do it himself so I said ok, get back in line.
Outwardly, I was supportive of him and wanted him to see that I was confident that he could do it. Inwardly, I was really, really nervous that we were going to have another meltdown and I would have to drag my grown-up self through the maze again with a screaming child. I know it sounds like fun but it was….not.
But after reminding him that I would not be coming in to help and that he had to be strong and finish it himself this time, he went in. And guess what? HE ROCKED IT. He ran through it laughing and full of excitement. A couple parts were hard but he overcame them and raced through and then down the final slide without a second of hesitation. #proudmamamoment
That was such a big moment for my little man and I am SO proud of him.
You can do anything you set your mind to, Jonah. Don’t ever forget that.