William and I are pretty alike. We have similar personalities and I see in him a lot of the same positive and negative traits that I exhibited as a child. It's easy for me to look at him and assume I know what he's thinking or what he needs because of that, but that's not fair. He is his own person and it doesn't work when I assume that he will feel affection from me because of the way I show it. I think all of us love to feel love in different ways but I haven't been great at spending one on one time with William lately. He's an independent spirit and his age, in contrast to Fritz's, is really easy to forget that what my sensitive 4-year-old needs is some good, quality time with Mom. Things between us had been strained in the last month so, this Saturday that's exactly what we did.
All week long, he had been talking about our "date". His eyes would light up when I would talk to him about us going out together. It was so great to see his enthusiasm when he would talk about being together "just us and no one else". When Saturday morning came, we went to breakfast. I feel kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I was a little nervous about what I would talk to a 4-year-old about all day. He told me lots of silly jokes about polar bears, underwear and elephants but we also talked about his best friends and also what his favorite things are. I asked him questions and I really listened, without any distractions (I didn't even pull out my phone except for a couple of times to take some pictures at his request). It was eye opening to really listen to my kid. I'm not saying that I never listen to my child, but I think I often forget that he's growing up and his comments aren't just baby babble anymore. William is really funny and sensitive. He has such a soft heart and is really gentle. I loved hearing his thoughts and feelings about things without having to worry about Fritz running into the street or what time it was.