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Hello dear readers!
I trust this has been a productive and fruitful week. My son has started his final matric exams and the home has gone into study mode. All I need to do is offer support, food, quiet and the regular lifts to and from study sessions.
With all this happening with my firstborn, the other two have also started their own preparation for exams, year end athletics, music concerts and the list goes on...
I have had to make a conscious effort to schedule time in with each of my younger sons, in order to spend quality time with each of them in their preferred activities. My youngest is12, and soon he will be entering the teen years; and by then his interests will change, with a significantly reduced need to spend time with me. I feel as if I want to stall this inevitable passing of time, there is still so much I want to do with my boys. My baby especially, is growing into a little young person, who occasionally exhibits bouts of moodiness, the isolated rebellion and need to be on his own at times.
From past experience, I can now identify this as the beginning of puberty and I am able to deal with it in a different way to my first time. I can understand that this too shall pass, and it is a rite of passage, it is his way of finding himself and asserting his place. I can now, with the benefit of hindsight, nurture his growth without the clashing of minds and personalities. I have learnt so much in the past few years, more about myself, and more about how to be best version of me as a parent. And I suppose the version differs with each parent, as it is driven by our experiences, our passion, our souls and spirit.
I have learnt that honesty with my kids goes a long way, admitting my mistakes goes even further and appreciating and celebrating them for who they are is really the best thing for each kid.
I definitely do not have all the answers, but it does feel as if I uncover a little more by talking to my boys, about their day, what their plans are and little anecdotes they like to share. It gives me insight into what they find interesting, what the best parts and worst parts of the day was. I have also learnt that each one of my sons are individuals, each with a very strong spirit, and it highly impossible to handle each of them in the same manner. And I am able to articulate this to them when questioned on my methods.
In between my first born and his milestones, my youngest and his approaching teen years, I have my twin soul, my middle son. So many of his behaviours mirror my own (which sometimes drives me crazy and other times I can relate to); and in a twist he has a well of courage, a fearlessness to try anything, something I lacked at his tender age. I admire this quality, although it has also brought us so many challenges through the years. However, I accept that he is driven to explore, he immerses himself in anything he attempts, and the best I can do is caution (not threaten as I would instinctively want to do) and let him know we are always there to guide, support, assist and we'll always do it with love. He knows we are committed to working through any challenge together, as a family... as hard as it may sometimes be.
Parenting is hard, being connected is hard, being a reasonable parent in today's time is difficult, but the reward of having that connection whether they are teens, or grown men, is such a special goal and well worth the difficult times. I pray for more connecting, for more shared experiences and moments, even though they are rapidly becoming independent, separate and strong young men.
In today's OOTD, my mood is playful, it's an outfit I will wear when spending time with one of my boys, whether we're sharing a coffee moment, visiting the library or shopping. The t-shirt dresses are so versatile this season, but has to be in the right fabric so that it's not too clingy (for that more modest look). This one I picked up Mango and is made of a knit which is drapes heavily and is not too clingy. I paired it with my all favourite gold platform Superga sneakers, a South African collaboration with Poppy Ntshongwana. Since the t-shirt dress can come across as dull, I have added a statement neckpiece for some character.
Mango t-shirt dress
Superga sneakers from Superbalist (shop similar here)
Necklace from Superbalist (shop similar here)
Paul Boutique shopperCaio for now,