My son is amazing. Absolutely amazing. He is smart. He figures things out quickly and understands certain relationships between things that I would assume are beyond a 3-year-old’s comprehension. He is loving. The way he dotes on his little sister is beautiful. He is joyful. He is (mostly) kind. He is sweet. He is creative.
He is also difficult. He only listens when he wants to. Everything is a constant power struggle with him. He is easily distracted. Falling asleep is a death-match every single night!
The older he got and the less sleep I got, the more frustrated I became with him. I looked longingly at the mothers who could walk, hand-in-hand with their kid to the park and let them play freely without worrying that the kid would run out of the park gates the first chance they got. I was downright seething at the moms who could let their kid walk ahead of them on the sidewalk, trusting their kid would stop when they called.
With my son, it was like I had to constantly have him on a short leash. I had to manage him. I longed for a large open field where I could throw him in and let him explore and play on his own. Keeping him restrained was not working for either of us.
While I was pregnant with my daughter, I started reading baby horoscopes, just for fun. These are apparently a thing- just like love matches, you can read what it will be like to parent a child based on your horoscope and their horoscope. My daughter’s horoscope thrilled me. She is a Capricorn, which means she will be well-organized, have self-discipline, and be patient, persevering, and cautious. Pretty much the opposite of my son. One article I read said that Capricorn children are they type who will remind you of their daily schedule and be ready for the next activity before you. Ah… that sounded so good after 3 years of wrestling with my son to do anything.
I had never read his horoscope. He is an Aquarius. As I started reading, I found myself nodding along. Every article I read basically said that Aquarius children are HARD to raise. That they are fun and amazing but they are also a whirlwind storm of emotions, very into their own desires, and inclined to run off at any moment. It was perfectly my son.
I don’t adhere to some sort of mystical alignment that causes horoscopes to be right. But as with tarot and other forms of divination, I think that horoscopes are an awesome tool to reflect on your own psyche. It allows a venue to explore your own thoughts and emotions, even the subconscious ones you were not aware of.
Reading about Aquarius children made me feel relieved. There are other difficult children out there! But my son is more than just difficult- he is complex. It helped me recognize some of the specific aspects of his personality that drive me crazy and WHY they drive me crazy. It also forced me to think about the whys of his behavior- why he does this or that. What HE wants. What HIS needs are.
I realized that my son will run off. He will always run off. No matter how many times I will tell him not to run off, he will still do so- not to test me or drive me crazy, but because it is part of him. It is in his nature and maybe some day it will die down a bit, but I will not be able to curb it completely. Rather than get mad at him for running off, I am now able to just accept it as one more challenge that I have to deal with. Open, safe spaces are important, so I can allow that without freaking out.
My son is not organized. He does ten things at once. He isn’t overly focused (yet). These are aspects that he may struggle with his entire life. But somehow, knowing that these are normal things for many kids… normal enough that people say 1/12th of children struggle with them… somehow comforts me. I find that knowing my son is an Aquarius makes me not only more accepting of these traits, but more excited overall. Because there are amazing things that are in his future if he continues to be a classic Aquarius. I do not have to shape him to be like me or like his father. I just have to learn how to guide him on his own path.