Earning the Stripes

During morning physical therapy today we discussed the need to work on The Conqueror’s fine motor skills. At nearly two he should be working on pre-writing skills. Eek. Almost two. In many ways this birthday will feel like my son is turning one and turning two years old at the same time because of all that has happened this year. We have fought for his life or improved health every day. Two? Wow.

As I was in the mommy-reality-spiral, someone else was listening. Writing skills, you say? Challenge Accepted!
Several hours later as I was filling out my planner with multiple colored pens (when you have 6 therapy appointments MINIMUM each week, you need color coding to keep it straight!) I apparently didn’t grab one. My little scooter did the electric slide across the room and found a pen without a cap. I did not realize this because I was handling bathroom business with the 3 year old. On the way out the door to Speech I grabbed the little one and saw his first art work.

Someone felt like he had earned his stripes today. He just drew them on. It didn’t stop here; his body was covered. I quickly got the wipes and gave him an emergency clean-up…after taking some pictures. This is my SECOND son, after all.

I’m not mad. I’m actually impressed. Now that everyone is bathed and in bed, I am smiling rather fondly. This is a rite of passage. Kids find markers and create murals, wall-paintings and homemade tattoos. At least it wasn’t permanent this time and no one lost an eye.

I know many of you reading have great stories much like these. I’ve heard tales of drawn mustaches, tattoos, spelling names, etc. My sister once used green marker to connect her freckles on her arm to demonstrate that “The Big Dipper” was on her arm. Noted!

Today is the kind of day in the Mom-tribe when we can sit around and applaud each other for the rites of passage. My other son traced his fingers across my hip the other day where light silver lines now grace once-smooth skin from days before sons. Stripes come in many different ways but darn it, we’ve earned them. Share those stripes stories and glory in them, lest we all think we are the only ones.


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