Yesterday evening when my son Wesley, all dressed in black slacks and a crisp white button down shirt, returned from his job as a server at a local golf club, he raved about the steelhead and chicken he brought home to share with the family.
Hey, the perks of working weddings at the country club. And, he had something else with him.
An almost-full case of Mountain Dew.
“There was no alcohol at the wedding and it ended early and was an easy clean up,” he explained.
He then proceeded to walk over to his younger brother Augustin’s room and placed the almost-full case of Mountain Dew in front of the closed door. Gus was sleeping and Wes didn’t want to wake him.
My heart melted that he thought about his brother.
You see, Wesley knows that Gus, who is 12, loves Mountain Dew. Now saying that Gus loves Mountain Dew is an understatement. Gus LOVES Mountain Dew. And everyone knows that Gus will choose Mountain Dew over every other drink on the planet. For every meal. If he could.
In fact, Gus keeps the various collectible Mountain Dew bottles and cans on his bookshelves. He’s got “Dewshine” and discontinued kinds of Mtn Dew in the variety of colors lining throughout his room. He talks about Mountain Dew in the morning and when we go out to eat he asks the server if they have Mountain Dew and when we are at the store, he goes down the soda pop aisle to see if there are any new varieties of Mountain Dew.
“Mom, look, it’s a new collectible kind of Mountain Dew. Let’s get it.”
Now, often times the older brothers give Gus quite a hard time about his Mtn. Dew obsession. “It’s bad for you Augustin.” “It has a lot of caffeine in there, Augustin.” “You shouldn’t drink so much Mountain Dew.”
I try to keep my kids from scolding one another. “Let me be the mom,” I remind the twins. No one likes to be ragged on all the time, especially not by your brothers.
Our Augustin, being the youngest, just wants to be acknowledged and noticed and recognized — and not condemned. It’s just a little something that he likes. It’s a small thing, but it’s important to him. I so want my kids to treasure one another. To appreciate one another’s tastes and likes.
So, it was pretty endearing for me to see older brother Wesley thinking specifically of something his younger brother liked — and bringing it to him. Something he even thought was “bad” for his brother.
It’s important to take note of what our kids’ favorite things are. Noticing. Recognizing. Acknowledging what each member of our family likes honors them. What their tastes and interests are. To see. To point out. To pay attention. And to encourage others in our family to take notice.
Part of my Parenting philosophy: Pay attention. Pay attention to what our kids like and don’t like, and let them know we are paying attention. And make other family members know what each of them like. Their individual tastes and favorite things matter.
And, acknowledge when siblings pay attention to siblings’ taste. I learn so much from my kids when I see them caring for one another.
What are some things that your kids like? How do you recognize them? What are some ways that you pay attention to your kids interests and likes and tastes and favorite things?
[I’m joining in at my own pace with the #Write31Days community as a way to get back into writing since my accident. My topic is “Finding Your Parenting Philosophy.” In the first post you will find a list of past blog posts. Thanks for reading: Finding Your Parenting Philosophy]