Two shots

At his recent well-visit, Tucker was due for two school-age shots.  As he received them his face buckled and he fiercely resisted tears.  He looked just like somebody who did not want to cry.  Band-aids on, he bravely whispered That (sniffle) was (sniffle) awesome.

At a neighborhood gathering last weekend, one of Tuck’s small friends ran toward the adults, clothes covered in red juice, explaining that Tucker squirted a CapriSun at her.

Parenting is an almost perfect cocktail of pride and embarrassment, sweet and slightly bitter.  I mean, I'm not really ever ashamed of the boys, but more of my own parental failures.
Tucker knows how to pour his own drink, but he squeezes juice boxes at peers.
He teaches his brother to put on his crocs, but his teacher says he interrupts other children’s turn to speak.
I am often proud of the boys, of their big spirits, but I'm not sure how well the braggable moments balance with the goofs.  And I know we all have both, that they make us human and help us make connections.

At a cookout last night I told an acquaintance that her son was adorable and she said, "I know,"  quickly followed by, "I mean, Thank you!"
We laughed.  I get it.  Our children are all adorable and bright and engaging and unique.  We're proud of them and occasionally embarrassed by them, and of ourselves.

Tuck is far too interesting to be relegated to one story or the other.  He's smart and silly, wise and reckless.
I swallow and it tastes mostly like pride.  Two shots, heavy on the good stuff.  That tastes awesome.


rht said...

No one is perfect either... except for you and your sister and a few of my favorite people ; >

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

Would you like to borrow the "shock collar" we got for Matthew? It worked on Sandy, too. I believe in psychology it's called "negative reinforcement". I promise Tucker will learn to stay in your yard and out of the mud. Please note, it's not recommended for potty training. Tucker's teacher may find it useful in the classroom, too. As always, your dad is just thinking "outside of the juice box".


P.S. Shots still make me cry...it may be genetic.

zarniegall said...

Tolliver is the third child, like my baby sister Christina and our Izzy...Tuck is different because even though he is the middle, he will have qualities of the oldest...Love your writing!!