At 3 and 1/2 yrs of age, my son is a loving, energetic little boy whose long eyelashes frame his beautiful eyes. In public, he’s pretty easygoing and quiet, serious and earnest. At home, he is quite capable of being demanding, fussy, dramatic and stubborn. He loves to be tickled, he chatters almost non stop and wants daddy all to himself as much as he can. When he cries, it’s always big, fat tears rolling his cheeks and big mouthed wail. Sometime it’s quite comical: I have even brushed his teeth as he wailed like a banshee, protesting his imminent bedtime.
I’m getting better at managing his moods without losing my mind, I know how to ride them out without taking them personally. More often than not, I remain calm and loving and when he crosses a line, I send him to his room to sit in his naughty chair for a few minutes to think things over. Sometimes I even sit with him to think things over myself. He enjoys the company. He smiles at me and bats his eyes and holds my hand. He rubs my back when it’s sore and will always share the last little bit of a treat with me. I read him TWO stories at bedtime and often I will make up a story with him and his dog as the protagonists. Occasionally, he’ll crawl into my lap and pretend to sleep and I’ll let him because it’s just so cozy and so quiet and I just want to savour our closeness.
I think a lot about his birth mother, more so of course cause it’s Mother’s Day this weekend. I plan on sending her a recent picture of him at preschool. He’s growing up – I can look at his face and see what he will look like when he’s a man. And I see another face too.
I usually hear from her around major holidays, and I always reply generously. This time, I emailed her first just to let her know I was thinking of her. Much of our prior contact has revolved around some sort of veiled plea for financial help and given her circumstances, that’s not a surprise. However given the amount of financial and emotional strain we’ve been under in the last few years, I’m always reluctant to maintain a more fluid correspondence. Hubby has little interest in more contact, and I am, by default and by design, the one responsible for keeping things as smooth as I can given our set boundaries.
I don’t take my gift of motherhood for granted. It was a long, hard road. And on Mother’s Day, my heart is full of joy, but there’s a sliver of sadness. I think of all the women who have lost their children, the dream or the reality. I think of the woman that entrusted her son to me at great personal sacrifice, I think of the woman that gave birth to me who continues to survive against all odds and I think of the women who still struggle for the title of Mother. My eyes have been opened in so many ways and what I have learned about myself at the altar of motherhood has brought me to my knees on more than on occasion.
On with the journey.