his way

There’s a story that’s been told several times since summer, the kind that may go down as family legend.  In it Tolliver used a long black umbrella to whack the flowers off all the potted plants on the front porch, and then showed no remorse.  For an hour and forty minutes.  We were on our way to a party a few streets over, so Tuck and I went ahead.  An hour and forty five minutes (and one large glass of bourbon) later, Andy and Tollie arrived to join us.  He had apologized, and helped clean up.
My little tomato headed boy.  I have, on more than one occasion, let him out-stubborn me.  Sometimes I just do not have stamina to match.

Lately, though, he's doing more and more things that make some of the ideas I had about him reshuffle inside my head.
I watch him put on clothes without putting up a fight.
I hear him speaking to his brother just like we speak to him, using admiring, appreciative words.
I see him unload the clean silverware, pick up the loose Legos, put away the stray books.
He is less contrary, more kind.
And still very opinionated.

I know that this part of him, this uncensored enthusiasm, this dogged determination, will serve him well in the future.  I love that he knows what he wants to do, to be, and goes after it full throttle.  No waffling, no wondering whether he’ll be good enough, no assuming he is not.  He rises early, like he’s carrying the sun around inside himself, strong and hot, bold and bright, ready to take on the day.  No vague plans of maybe someday, maybe later.  He claims it all, right now, his way.


Sue Kadlac said...

Oh, those strong willed children! They can try your patience to the brink (or the bourbon bottle!!). If we are strong parents (and you and Andy certainly are, even if you cave sometimes), they become amazing, successful, fun, loving adults ( all the things they are now!).
Picking your battles is definitely a key!! The flower, umbrella incident was worthy of the battle! Go Andy!!
How are you feeling, Jenny? I hope Baby Boy Betz #3 is being kind to you as he grows!!

Andy and Jenni said...
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Andy and Jenni said...

Thank you, Sue! We are fortunate to be able to take turns out-stubborning T2 :) And yes, I feel great! More than half way now to meeting this new one!!