I feel compelled to write about my son, Jack.
A few days ago, I bought him an Optimus Prime costume for Halloween.
When he puts his costume on, he transforms from his typical three-year-old self to “Optimus Prime, Defender of the Universe!” (actually, I believe Voltron is the “Defender of the Universe,” but I just don’t have the heart to tell him this…he takes it very seriously and announces with great gusto that he is, indeed, the defender of the universe).
Truth be told, parenting a typical three-year-old is tough. More days than not I think to myself, “OMG what am I doing wrong?” Surely, happy and well-adjusted children of capable parents don’t have colossal meltdowns because they are handed a red cup when they wanted a blue one. Surely they don’t yell, “NOT EVER!” when you suggest they try, for the 100th time, a green bean. Right?
There are days when I feel like all we do is lock horns over every.little.thing. Jack pushes my buttons and I snap at him over the most ridiculous of situations.
But sometimes, like today, I forget all about the drama and nonsense and instead struggle to wrap my head around the fact that this amazing, imaginative, and life-loving little boy is my very own child. How lucky I am to have him!
I see him in his Halloween costume, two sizes too small, with the mask perched on top of his head, dirty old rain boots on his feet and his little sunglasses on, and my heart nearly explodes. I know how special he feels, as he puffs his chest out and says “Autobots! Roll out!” before running outside and standing on the sidewalk, his little fists at his hips as he waits for his friends to come outside and admire his costume. In his words, he is “ready for action!”
He sees the neighbors come out and does some “tricks” for them (involving some intricate kicks and hops and random arm movements). Soon, he pulls the mask off of his head and asks me to help him put his helmet on so he can go for a bike ride with the neighbor girls.
And then, we come inside. It’s hot out and he’s willing to take his costume off, which is a relief (he was asking to sleep in it just a couple of night ago). I fill a sippy cup halfway with juice and halfway with water and he retires to the couch, wearing just his underwear and requesting to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV while his chicken nuggets cook. He is, temporarily, a three-year-old once again.
After dinner, I upload these pictures to my laptop. I laugh out loud and feel my heart swell at the same time.
This, my friends, is what it’s all about. A little boy in his Halloween costume, a super hero here to save the day, my sweet son…these are the memories I want to hold onto forever.