Happy Birthday Archer!

Six years ago today, I became a mom.

It was two days before my 30th birthday and my son was very, very late. It makes sense now … he’s the slowest human being I’ve ever met. Unless he’s running, then watch out!

Happy 6th Birthday, Archer! We love you and are so excited to keep watching you grow into such a beautiful, amazing human being.

When I was pondering what to write about on Archer’s birthday, I came up with the idea to show what I have learned as a parent through things I am SO proud of Archer for. That double-edged sword, amiright?

Parents Holding Baby at Rocky Point

Happy Birthday Archer!

Patience is a virtue gained by watching your children learn.

As I mentioned above, Archer is slow. At eating, school work, getting ready, and basically doing anything that is asked of him. We’ve always encouraged Archer’s independence, which meant waiting for him to learn to pick up his food on his own, do things like school work with minimal assistance (which is obviously very relevant right now while he’s learning from home!). Not only have I learned how much patience I truly have as a parent—more than I ever thought I had—but I see how he proceeds with care, prefers to play and use his imagination. Even when he’s supposed to be eating or performing another task.

Archer’s imagination has always been amazing, from his imaginary friend, Kiki (which is also what he used to call Cheerios) that appeared shortly after Maverick was born, to his independent play. I love his spirit and where his mind takes him and I hope it’s always there with him to some degree.

Love is Love is Love

Archer has always loved everyone. If you will listen to him, he will be your best friend. Hell, even if you won’t listen or can’t hear him, he’s gonna chat your ear off! And I am going to take that lesson from him and run with it. I will hold his hand while he talks to the world, help him understand the differences we all face as best I can and hope that it sticks.

I have chosen not to say anything about everything that has been going on in the world lately on social media. My initial reaction, that has wavered but still stands, was that it is not my place. My place is in my home, where I can teach our children that love is equal, life is unfair, but everyone deserves more than what a lot of people in the world are getting right now. And when the time comes, as I am sure it will—raising two white boys that don’t look like they have a drop of native blood in them, even though they do—we will have done our best to prepare them to stand strong, stand up for others and put an end to the racism that lives in this world right now. Because it must end, but it is not my battle to lead on Instagram.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

- Nelson Mandela

Sometimes the best thing to do is dance.

Oh, boy, does Archer love to dance! I’ve been saying for a long time now that I want to get that kid in dance lessons, because he loves to bust a move. We’ve now gotten Maverick into a good dance party wherever we find ourselves when a good tune comes on, and it is so cathartic. Just to quit what you’re doing and move to the music, laugh and dance with one another and forget whatever tantrum was dampening the mood only moments before.

Are you a dance-party type house? What’s your favourite dance party song? This is one of ours right now.

Smiling Mother and Son in Front of Garden Plot

Say Yes

I hate saying no. There are times that I call myself out for saying no to my kids automatically. It could be that we’re on day 80-something of being home together, but I have learned through Archer to throw caution to the wind and say yes more!

Don’t get me wrong, we still have pretty strict rules around our house, but more often than not I try to push my gut reaction that no, playing skateboards with scraps of carboard is not a good idea, aside. As long as they stay away from the stairs. It still ends in tears, more often than not, but that’s okay. And it leads me to my next point …

A little crying is inevitable.

I’ve learned on my journey through adulthood that leaning into my feelings is the best thing to do. I may not be having tantrums and screaming and throwing things, though that does sound appealing sometimes, but trusting my gut and knowing that all of my feelings are valid is something I have both learned from and want to instill in Archer. Kids have big emotions that are hard to manage, but so do we. We, as adults, have just developed an ability to redirect the big energy into something much less explosive. Most of the time.

I did a parenting course last year. I was irritated with it for the most part, though I think of it often. Every time the kids are sad or mad or upset, I open my arms and bring them in for a hug. Nine times out of ten, that’s all they need. To be heard, seen and comforted.

We all just want the same things, don’t we?

It’s enough to be good enough.

Archer’s birthday post was a little more serious than I first intended it to be, but it’s what I’m feeling these days, so I am rolling with it. I hope you are all staying safe out there and standing up for what you believe in.

And join me in wishing my little (big) kid a very Happy 6th Birthday!

Happy birthday Archer, I will always be your mama.

Love you, kiddo,

Anya

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