Raising boys is not for the faint-hearted! I’ve been blessed with 3 amazing sons (and one wonderful daughter!). My eleven-year-old son is currently hovering on the cusp between his childhood and teenage years. It is a tough time for both moms and kids alike, but for such different reasons.

He still lives much of his time in the blissful purity of childhood, without the impending and sometimes crushing reality of lost innocence. It’s not that I don’t look forward to watching him grow and mature into those teenage years and eventually into adulthood, like his older brothers. It’s more that I would like to slow down this roller coaster of life, which seems to rocket through the years faster every day.

Knowing how precious and soon to be rare these childhood times are, I have a few hopes and dreams I wish I could insert into his brain. If anything, these are great lessons to me and something I need to pay closer attention to.

1. Live Life With Joyful Enthusiasm

 He is always so happy with whatever he is doing. Whether he’s going to school, or heading out on a family adventure, he is excited to go. He seriously loves living life, and I hope he never loses that.

2. Be a Life-Long Learner

Something else I see in him is how much he loves to learn new things. He loves to read, look up facts about anything and everything or talk to anyone who might be an expert on a current interest. He has an insatiable hunger for new information and happily passes on any and all new knowledge. (Especially when it’s bedtime… haha.)

3. Always Look For The Humor

He loves jokes. He loves telling jokes. He wants so badly to be funny at all times because I think he loves to hear other people laugh. He likes to make everyone happy. As much as he can drive us crazy trying to be funny, I love that he wants to make us all laugh.

4. Approach New Situations With Unyielding Confidence

Although I see this overconfidence in doing anything and everything slowly eroding away as the years go by, I loved watching him walk into a room full of people as a youngster with the attitude that they were all there for him. He never seemed to have a fear of anything new whether it was a new situation, or task at hand. I hope he keeps as much of that confidence as possible.

5. Continue To Be That Friendly Face

He is the friendliest kid. He always says “hi” to people, both ones he knows and introduces himself if he doesn’t. I envy his ability to do this, as I struggle with being introverted in new situations. He always has a smile and hello for anyone he meets and it’s one of his greatest character traits.

6. Love With Abandon

He is such a loving person. He makes sure we know he loves us and he tells us multiple times a day. I never go without a hug and kiss goodbye. He knows how much we love to hear it, and he never takes our knowing for granted.

7. Live With Empathy For Others

Among other things, he is an amazingly empathetic individual. At times, this trait seems to be way beyond his years. It’s tough for a kid to feel so strongly for others and not always understand why, but he really wants to take care of the people in his life and see all people happy. 

Those strange teenage years are closing in more quickly than I would like and with it, so many of these childhood traits are challenged when the real world continues to make its mark. As exciting as it is to see our children become amazing adults, I’m not in any hurry to have it happen again. If anything, I hope I can take these life lessons and carry them with me throughout my days as well.

*This piece was originally published at tiffanypicotte.com 

Tiffany Picotte

I am a military wife to my amazing husband and mom of four awesome kids. I am a full time teacher and in my freetime love writing about our crazy life with the hope of providing some laughs and maybe a litle inspiration.