Mason fell asleep in the car this afternoon.
A few months ago this would have been the beginning of a story about the crazy tantrum my four-year-old threw, how I lost my temper and the stressful day we had. Thankfully (really, really Thank God!) today's story has happier ending.
When I tried to wake Mason up so we could take Emily into her dance class, he opened his eyes, sat up and said in a groggy, angry voice, "I HATE EVERYTHING!"
Then he leaned back against his car seat and fell asleep again. I had to lift him out of the mini-van and carry him. When I picked him up he quietly wrapped his arms around me and about a minute later he said, "I wanna get down now," in a calm voice.
I was holding my breath. Where was the screaming? Surely the tantrum would start any second. I walked along silently, carefully watching Mason. And you know what? He didn't throw a tantrum. He didn't scream.
I realized at that moment that his funny, half asleep declaration of hate was actually a huge step forward. He was, to sound like such a mom, "using his words." He told me how he was feeling instead of throwing a tantrum. I bet during all of the monster tantrums that he threw last summer he was feeling like he hated everything and he just couldn't put his feelings into words.
Yahoo! My son hates everything and he can tell me! Sounds weird, I know, but it's a huge step in the right direction.
The rest of the afternoon continued on very smoothly. After dinner I looked at Mason and said, "You sure are getting big. Do feel like you're getting big?"
"Yeah, I do feel big," he said in a serious, proud voice. "Do you know how I know I'm getting so big, Mama?" he asked. "Because I do what my dad asks me to do and I don't cry about it."
This is one of the days I've been dreaming of, waiting for and praying about for the past year. My son is getting big. I so completely cherish these moments of happy, big boy time with him. I could cry tears of joy just thinking about it.