My Kid Has Guts

Milestones look a lot different when you’re almost nine. Life’s firsts aren’t always exciting anymore. Some of them are downright scary and sad.

Kendall’s been handling some of life’s sad and scary things with so much courage lately. When I was asked to share a story for the #MyKidHasGuts Sweepstakes, in partnership with Smartypants Vitamins, I knew exactly what I’d write about because, yes, this kid? He’s got some guts.


First, let me address that mess on his arm. No, he did not get into a fight with a cat. He’s taken to drawing “body art” on himself with gel pens on the weekends. Scott and I are both just…meh about it. It washes off. Kendall talks about wanting to get body art (tattoos) when he’s older, and my only concern is he waits long enough to outgrow wanting his body art to be names of YouTubers.

Tattoos are the very least of my concerns when it comes to raising him to manhood. One of my biggest concerns is that I’m raising a kid with empathy, a kid who cares about others.

Earlier this week, one of Kendall’s friend’s dad died. He had cancer. Over the last week, I’ve watched and listened as Kendall’s come to terms with what this means for his friend. We’ve had talks about how to be a good friend to someone whose dad just died, and how to keep being a good friend to him for years to come. We’ve brainstormed ways to help show his friend that Kendall cares, that the whole family cares.

We’ve also had a lot of talks about the scary C word and death.

He’s shown compassion and concern far beyond what I expected of him. It’s taken guts for him to face this. I’m super proud of him. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he wanted to shut down and not deal with any of it.


More and more lately, he’s shown us that he wants to talk about the scary stuff. He wants to learn more. He wants to understand.

I guess that’s maturity, right? He’s taking responsibility for his actions, he’s facing consequences and real life. And that takes some guts. That’s something that’s hard even for me.

I won’t get to celebrate his first steps or first words again, but it is just as fulfilling, if not more, to see him handle all this “grown up” stuff for the first time with courage and, yes, guts.

Do you have a story of your child or children that makes you think, “YES! #MyKidHasGuts, too!”? Share it publicly on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook- either as a photo, a video, or a written story. Be sure to use the hashtag #MyKidHasGuts (check out the terms and conditions here), and do it before April 15th, 2017. One winner with get to take their family (up to 4 people with children over age 9) on a 5 day deluxe camping adventure with Backroads Travel.

Thanks to Smartypants Vitamins for sponsoring this post. 

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1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Hennessey on

    I have been reading your blog from the beginning, and in you and your approach to parenting I see the same philosophy as my little sister. She has been kind, patient and above all, on her children’s side no matter what, in the most empathetic way possible, while also being very clear on life’s realities. I am very proud and admiring of her, and by connection you. Your son and my niece are about the same age, and our Lily has some tough things she deals with on a daily basis. I say to you, keep going the way you have been. Your wonderful 9 year old will become a truly wonderful man with his mom and dads help. Great job!

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