Lessons from My Son


I have two sons. One is very much like me; he looks like me, he can be anxious like me, he even twists his hair when he is in deep thought like I do. Because it is so obvious we are cut from the same cloth, our personalities have been known to clash.

My youngest son, Jack, is a little different. He is the most laid back child I’ve ever known. He doesn’t care about what goes on his body so long as he is comfortable. He is always in a fabulous mood, ready to entertain. The kid wakes up happy every single day. Jack is always a fun time.

He has taught me life is all about how you look at things. If you decide to be in a good mood, you will be, even if you don’t suck back a jug of caffeine.

He has been in my life for ten years. He was the biggest surprise I’ve ever had in my life. When I began to realize there may be a small chance I could be pregnant, the first two pregnancy tests I took were negative. He kept me guessing (or should I say questioning?) my sanity. I knew something was going on with my body despite those damn tests.

He came into my world showing me sometimes you are given a tremendous gift that will change your world, even if you didn’t know you wanted it. Also, you can’t always count on something to be 99 percent accurate, even if it says so on the box. He was a trickster from the start.

When I was pregnant with him, I gained so much weight my doctor decided it was best if I stopped getting weighed for every appointment. I craved peanut butter cups, cheeseburgers and crackers dipped in cream cheese. I had been a healthy eater since my teens and usually didn’t eat like this on the regular…until he started his journey in my belly. I couldn’t stop my cravings if I wanted to. I was insatiable and didn’t care at all about the rate my body was expanding.

He taught me to live in the moment and that I had mad eating skills, which included eating a whole bag of chips in under 40 minutes, something him and I now do together while watching Chopped on a random Wednesday night. Sometimes, life is prepping you to make delicious memories for your future and you don’t even know it.

He doesn’t care about material things unless you can fill them with water and throw them at people or make them explode. (Listening to your kids laugh while having a water balloon fight must be what heaven is like.) He has made sculptures out of paper clips and cares more about growing plants than he does about having a “cool” pair of shoes.

He has taught me there is never a reason to be bored because you can make anything from the junk drawer if you put your mind to it.

Jack is a giver. This has nothing to do with how I have raised him, although I would like to take all the credit. He simply has a knack for knowing when someone needs help, needs a hug or just wants the biggest cookie. He is always happy to oblige. He doesn’t even do it to get praise or to make himself feel better—he just believes it’s what we all do.

He has taught me doing the right thing should be a habit. You should help others because it’s the right way to live, not because you want attention or credit.

I walked into his room one afternoon and noticed a vase of dying dandelions he had on his dresser. I told him we should probably throw them out because it looked like they were dying. He said, “No mama, they aren’t dying. They are turning into wishes.”

This boy, my son, has taught me there is so much magic in everything around us that sometimes you just have to look at life in a different way to find it.

About Katie Bingham-Smith

Katie Bingham-Smith had three kids in three years and crafts her ass off in order to stay sane. She loves to write, wear faux leather pants, eat at burger joints and make beautiful things. She pays her kids to rub her feet and play with her hair. You can see more of her writing on Scary Mommy, Babble, Grown and Flown, Mom.me, She Knows, Momtastic, and Mommyish.

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