He thinks he can be the best.
I love that.
I hate that.
When he’s out there on the ice, scoring goal after goal just one year after putting on skates for his first time ever, I love it, and I let him know how incredible I think he is. When he’s coming up with (really lame and far-fetched) accusations of cheating against siblings who happen to defeat him (often much to their own happy surprise) at some family game, I detest it—and try to think of effective ways to communicate my displeasure. When he’s sweating, really working hard, confident that he can do what he has set out to do, I am so proud of him. When he’s swaggering, arrogant, entitled, thinking he has a right to this or that, I grit my teeth in frustration. How do you teach a child the fine line between confidence and arrogance, how to aim with determination for excellence but to accept with grace when things do not end up as you had hoped, the delicate balance of competitive drive and cooperative purpose? And what, really, is it appropriate to expect from a second-grader—especially one whose primary teachers feel like it took them way too long to learn these lessons themselves?
We watched a video of “The Tortoise and the Hare” tonight. We talked about how the hare really was the better runner (a truly great runner!), but his attitude was all wrong. I think there might have been another small “aha!” moment inside our little man’s head. One more little seed of grace on this particular child-raising challenge. And I’m dreaming of a champion harvest.
(Of course, any wisdom from seasoned parents on this matter would be warmly invited as I am open to all the little seeds of grace I can find!!!!)