By Monday morning I still hadn't snapped a photo I was happy with for this week's Wild (week 13, can you please it's been 3 months!) - The past few days were very busy, with friends and events so I focused my camera on all that, instead of singling out any one defining moment with the boys.
Feeling a bit panicked, I went for coffee and ended up driving into a random field peppered with cacti where I asked Rex to take a picture for me. He is usually willing, but sometimes it takes some serious candy bribes to make it happen. This time he obliged, but complained that it was cold so I pulled that blanket out from the truck and he immediately covered his head with it. His bright eyes peeking through just long enough for me to catch the shot I needed. It was quick and easy, and SO, classically Rex. The mischief in his face, same as the day he was born. So telling of all that goes on behind those surly eyes. Out for a good time. Always. Ready to make somebody laugh, whatever the cost. Or drive someone else crazy just to get a full force reaction. And devious too. Just enough to keep us caught somewhere between tears and laughter, because even at his most trying, we are always, admittedly wowed to a degree by his ability to get whatever he needs, whenever he needs it, whatever the obsticle involved. He's sharp. That boy. And fearless. And tougher than any kid I know.
Also, by far, my hardest child to raise. A humbling experience to say the least. With Arlo being my first - a perfectly behaved, ridiculously happy child, whom I don't remember ever crying, or having to raise my voice at as a toddler, used to provide me with all the confidence in the world to openly critique other's parenting methods, how they handled their children, point out all they were doing "wrong" because, well, we clearly had it all down. "Look how good he is!" Everybody would say when we took him out. And still, Arlo remains a solid soul we can count on to use good judgement calls in regards to both his home, and social behavior.
Rex has greatly humbled me that way. The thought "I would never let my kid get away with that!" almost never enters my Psyche these days. Having three boys with such hugely different personalities has shown me that your child is who they are from the start, and that the consequences that work with a certain kid, does not guarantee the same results with separate characters. I am now on the other side, the stressed mother at target on the edge of tears because her cart is filled with screams and hair pulls, windex in the eyes of an unsuspecting victim. And apologizing, profusely, if even in awkward smiles that seem to say "I know, they're out of hand. We're on our way out." Some mothers shoot back the knowing smile. It's ok. They've had "one of those" too. They feel for me. Others look at me the same way I did, as a 26 year old first time mother with one happy, clean baby sitting upright in his cart, easily entertained by a single hotwheel and obviously horrified by the jungle of a cart next them.
The thing is, as much as we feel overwhelmed and distressed over some of the wild antics of our youngest boy, we still find ourselves seemingly enchanted by his natural born rebel nature. Truth is, everybody looks up to those that are on the wild side, they draw their own lines, and lead themselves along the way in a path they created. In the long run, intuition tells me he will do great things, even if it means breaking some of the rules. He does not depend on anyone to make things happen. He believes he is capable of anything he wishes. I just hope to God all the "great" things he roots himself in down the line, are legal.
* Please stop by to visit the wild crew this week to welcome a brand new tiny member debuting in the series HERE.