I have hardly observed a sight more precious than that of my three-year-old son after he has finally fallen asleep. I think what makes this vision so special is its stark contrast to just fifteen minutes prior when he was violently splashing bathwater all over the bathroom rug, pulling piles of books off shelves, and dressing in three different layers because he couldn’t decide which set of pajamas to wear.
Only having a younger sister myself, I never grew up around boys except for the ones in school. Therefore, I was hardly prepared for what raising a son would require. Some nights I swear I would be better off blindfolded in the corner with my earbuds in as I let my son swing from the chandelier. I fight the urge and parent on, doing everything in my power to remain patient and consistent. After all, I’m raising my son to be a young gentleman, and these are the days when I will set the foundation for all of the values that I hope he grows up with.
I want him to be courteous, so sometimes we have to discuss the volume level of an “indoor voice.” I want him to be polite, so I have to discourage the bathroom jokes even if they were sort of cute the first time. I want him to be healthy, so I have to show him the appropriate way to channel his emotions, even the hard ones that he can’t readily identify yet.
These days go by quickly, and soon they will be gone. Watching him sleep, I hope he is dreaming of his bright future. It reminds me to cherish these moments—the relaxing, the difficult, and the downright infuriating ones—because this is the last night he will ever be this small.
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