My middle son is wild–150% boy. He is bold and loud. He asks for forgiveness, not permission. When he was a toddler, he didn’t speak. Not until he was 2 years old. Until then, his main language was whining and high pitch screaming (think Mariah Carey whistle tone).

He would never just sit, or simply get up off the couch. No, he had to plunge himself into the couch like he was winding up, bounce himself off the cushions and finish by jumping off and rolling onto the carpet. When he was four, he decided to use his older brother (then 6 years old) as an imaginary obstacle course. You all can tell that was not a good idea and it didn’t end well. Okay, I need a glass of wine now remembering the detail of that incident. I love my kids. I really love my kids.

Anyhow, this boy crashed and destroyed almost every single thing his older brother had built with blocks, just for fun. He loved the crashing sound and the “feeling.” He spent more than half of his life in the corner before starting kindergarten. He is a 4th grader now, and his teachers have been telling me that he is such an angel at school. I raise my eyebrows, but I am so glad he finally has some sort of impulse control.

One day, my super physical boy found one of his favorite toys. Tangrams! It was such a shock for me to observe him just sitting down and quietly, I mean quietly playing for at least an hour. It was so soothing to watch him playing with tangrams. He was laser focused and gently moving around pieces to make shapes.



I cherish those moments because I was able to enjoy my son instead of yelling at him for the accidents he caused. I loved his soft and squishy cheeks, his silky curly hair and his chubby fingers. I rememeber grabbing a cup of coffee and watched him play. He was focusing on his tangrams and I was focusing on him. Such a peaceful and beautiful moment. This was our thing, just the two of us. I never wanted it to end… When I was having a crazy day, I used to ask him if he would play Tangrams for me so that I could relax. He said, “Sure, mommy.” 

He is nine now and has different interests. He hasn’t played Tangrams for a while. Having a rough day, I asked him if he would dust off his Tangrams for me. He said, “Sure, mommy. I will bring it to your room.” Yes, he did it for me. I just sat with my camera and watched him playing in silence. His baby sister came up and watched with me.

His fingers are much longer than I remembered and his squishy cheeks are gone. He has grown so much and matured over the years. I feel like I am holding onto his little boyhood and having a hard time letting him grow big. 

Oh, Tangrams. Thanks for existing. By the way, this was my husband’s favorite childhood toy as well. He said his elementary school teacher had them in the classroom and he would play it for hours when he had the chance. He knew my son would love them too, and bought it for him.