With every milestone, I am encouraged. Each accomplishment brings pride in him as his own person separate and distinct from myself, the mother and protector. I teach him lessons with hope...that he will grow to be a good boy and eventually a great man. I cheer for him when he needs support. I listen to him when he speaks. I give him the freedom I think he needs to learn to make responsible choices.
And then he slugs a little girl at daycare and makes her cry.
It all comes to a screeching halt and I replay as many memories from his short life as I can recall from the deep dark recesses of my brain. What happened? Is it about me? Did I miss something? Was there a misstep? If so...where? Is it about him? Is there something wrong with him that he would make this choice...to deliberately hurt another person? How did he not learn the lesson necessary to keep him out of this trouble? How did he not learn the lesson that we are all people and we are all precious and we are never never never to hurt each other if we can avoid it?
The circumstances aren't important. We don't hit. Ever. None of us...parents and children alike. We don't even hit another in gest or as a form of play (and at this age there is no reason for a discussion of self-defense). I thought the rule was simple and clear. I was either wrong or he fooled me. Either way...no privileges for a week.
The amusing thing is I JUST had a conversation with my colleague about her 3-year-old little boy and his issues with hitting and biting. Never again will I so confidently utter the words, "I just don't know what to say, I was very lucky with Sam...when I told him we don't hit, he accepted that."
I know, I know...it happens. I know it's a normal part of growing up. I know we will correct this behavior as well as I know that another will pop up to disappoint me eventually. It's just...*sigh*...