Sunday, August 17, 2008


Rayden turned seven last week. As my oldest I get to experience all of my firsts as a parent with him and Im always blown away at how much he has grown. To me he is still my little chubby-cheeked baby who was well ahead of his age with every milestone and who could make your heart melt with just a flash of his smile. He and I have been through a lot together in the last seven years and even though I know it has been really tough on him, I hope that it has made him a stronger person. He has taught me a lot and sometimes I worry that I haven't taught him enough. Our family started off with just the two of us and in a lot of ways, I was just a kid trying to be his parent. I had a lot of learning to do about life and people but I always loved my son and I always tried to be the best mom I could be.

My first mother`s day with Rayden

Despite his common bursts of energy and noise, Rayden is extremely thoughtful and intelligent. He has a wonderful mind for building and figuring out how things work. When The Ex takes the kids on Sundays, they often visit his parents where Rayden will spend most of his time in the garage with his grandfather. They work on various projects as he is always coming up with his next great idea. This past weekend it was a bed for his bear (I know so cute and please let him hold onto such innocence for a little longer!) and last week it was his go cart. The week before he made some sort of contraption for my mom to remember her dog who has recently died.

Rayden can map things out in his mind and has this amazing ability to see and understand all the parts required for almost anything. So many times I would find him on his bunk bed building something out of legos or sitting at his desk drawing blueprints. I say he will be an engineer one day and he certainly could be.

Rayden with one of his lego contraptions

In school Rayden's subject is without a doubt math. His performance is rated on a 1-5 scale and his math marks are always at least a 4; usually all 5s but he has gotten the odd 4. Language is also a strong point for him but he has been struggling a little this past year in grade one. Rayden is in an early french immersion program at school and because I only have a basic working knowledge of the language, I can only be of so much help to him. Ive also allowed his homework to slide this year and as a result he didn't do nearly as well as he could have. Im obviously still extremely proud of this child who after only two years of french lesson at school can speak and understand so much of the language.

This year Rayden has gotten quite frustrated though at his inability to read English. French Immersion requires that all subjects (other than gym because they only have an English speaking gym teacher) be taught in French and so no English is allowed in the classroom. Because of this, Rayden has had no exposure to English reading and he wont until grade three. Ive tried showing him the odd thing but I really haven't put enough effort into something that he really wanted. But Rayden being the boy that he is, has taught himself to read English. He will still say that he cant read it but that is more of a self-esteem issue because when I push, he is always able to do it.

Rayden`s first day of kindergarten, two years ago

I tend to tell Rayden way too much about life and the things going on in our lives. I treat him as a bit of a partner sometimes and forget how much of a kid he still is. When he is just being a kid though he loves to laugh and play with his younger brothers. His older cousin has recently moved to the province and there isn't a day that goes by that Rayden doesn't ask to see him. Being the oldest among the local cousins I guess has always made him be the responsible one and as well made him have to play younger games and such. With this cousin though, they can play board games and video games and they both understand the rules! By far one of his favorite activities is his video games and so this year for his birthday his dad and I bought him a wii. He has wanted it for quite awhile and we finally decided that he is probably old enough to look after it properly; I just hope we were right cause damn, they ain't cheap.

My Boy

Active play has always been a challenge for Rayden because we lived in an apartment building for a large portion of his life so far. There was a large field near by but he couldn't play there by himself and there was rarely time for me to go out with him. Now though that he has his own yard he never wants to be in the house. Usually I just let him go outside as he pleases because of all those times he sat at the living room window looking down at the field and watching other kids play. It breaks my heart to remember those days when I had a young baby and just couldn't bring Rayden outside to play with those other kids. He will play for hours on his scooter if I let him, always trying to do a better trick or go a little faster. I have no idea where he is picking it up either, but he is starting to pick up some slang to go with it and usually I have to guess what it means. Im only 25 and do not consider myself old but I just do not get half of what kids say anymore.

We tried soccer again this summer and unfortunately haven't been able to go very often. Rayden hasn't been in soccer every year and didn't quite know the rules as much as some of the other boys and so he felt a little awkward playing on the team. I always had social issues that I don't think I overcame until my adult years and I just pray he doesn't have the same problems. Feeling like an outcast as a kid can be incredibly painful and can stay with you for your entire life. Anyway he always tried his best when he was playing and whenever he would be put in a goalie, he would try his hardest to protect that net. I think his favorite position was defense because he didn't have to try to keep up with the ball as much. He would always be on the outskirts of the group of boys running after the ball and so he would never get a chance to get near it. His tournament starts this week and I really hope I will have a chance to bring him to the games and give him a few more chances at it. This will be his last year because the boys that play are getting better and better and unless he decides that this is his sport, he just wont put the effort into it.

Soccer with his blue mohawk!

Rayden has such a unique personality and thinks about things way more than most kids his age do. He saw a mohawk a couple years ago and started to think about what it would be like if he had one. So during this whole last year he has been asking to get one. I agreed that he could but he had to wait for summer. So as soon as school was out, his uncle gave him a mohawk and we coloured it blue. This was in late June and by the end of July, he was ready to shave it off. He decided that it just wasn't right but has plans to have a full mohawk (back and top) next summer with an intricate multi-colour die job as well. We`ll see if the plan lasts the year though.

There is so much more that I could write about this wonderfully curious boy that I have the privilege to help nurture and grow. He is such a ray of light in my life that without it I wouldn't be the woman I am today. He is truly my special guy.

Rayden on his birthday with Josiah


Kristi said...

Watching kids get older is so fun. I'm amazed daily by the things my daughter comes up with!

Astarte said...

He looks like such a sweetheart. :)