I try hard to be mindful that my sons are all unique, individual people and not clump them into “the kids” or “the boys.” I especially focus on this with our twins, because I never want them to feel like they’re only part of a pair.
One way I do this is to actively spend one on one time with each of them whenever I can. I have done this since they were barely toddlers and continue to do it now 8 years later. Summers are especially difficult with extracurriculars, trips and my work schedule. But I make it happen whenever I can. Sometimes it’s just to the grocery store or a bike ride.
Tonight, after watching my husband play in 3 softball games, we went to a church party at a local water park. It was an exhausting day. Braxton came up to me at 7:15 and said “mom, can we leave now just the 2 of us and go on a date? we haven’t done that in a while.”
I was tired. I was hot. I was looking forward to going home to my sweat pants and washing my face. But let me tell you… hearing those words from my normally stand-offish mr. independent son immediately shifted my mood. I couldn’t scoop him into the car fast enough. We left together 45 minutes early and went to a restaurant to enjoy chicken wings, fried pickles and chocolate milk (he ordered for us, ha). And he held my hand!
We put the electronics away and chatted about his friends, sports, the upcoming school year… everything. We laughed. A lot. My kid is cool. We got home and my heart felt recharged. I need to continue to push myself to do this. It helps both of us when we do. Regardless of which son I have with me, I can vividly see the individuality. I love my kids. But even more, I love Braxton, Braylon and Landon.