After Malachy was born, I would stare into his face with so much adoration that I’d conjure stomach butterflies inside me. 7.5 years later and I still evoke a similar feeling.
Although he’s certainly more of challenge now than the placid, smiling baby he once was. He’s the most emotional of my kids, he’s confrontational and he never settles for mediocre explanations…
When he was 3 he asked me to “google heaven” then told me there was no evidence of heaven because those aren’t photos on google, they’re just drawings, and anyone could make that up.
When my male friend dressed up for a drag race party in femme drag, my friend laughed and asked Malachy what he thought. Malachy replied, “I’m not sure what’s so funny about a man in a dress?” and then complimented him on his outfit. My friend was like ➡️😳 “kids nowadays are awesome, hey?! Wow.”
Then there was the time he got offered a non-vegan ice cream and told, “you don’t have to tell anyone you ate it. I won’t tell.” He refused the ice cream and replied, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, it’s about doing [what he thinks is] the right thing.” (I’m not sure that I know many adults with this much integrity!)
And not long ago he was watching a video which said “this building is older than Australia” (it was built before 1788.) To which he immediately turned to me and my friends and said, “is that video over 60 thousand years old, mum? I think they’re lying.”
So, he’s my not-so-placid “baby” now! (I’m not sure where he gets it from – haha!)
I certainly underestimated how complex, inquisitive and assertive a 7 year old could be. And how all the things that I find I’m most proud of him for, are also the same things that make me so exhausted parenting him.
Though I love those moments and they make me feel like my grades at parenting are going up when they happen, it’s the moments I catch him being quiet like he used to be that take me.
But now I see him differently than the quiet baby I saw before.
When I look deep into his face, I wonder what he’s thinking. And that makes me think so hard that electricity pings around my brain, moves down to my heart and almost causes an internal electrical fire.
He has grown. The love has amplified and evolved.
AND The butterflies are sparks.