Today, while waiting at a red light, the boy (6.5 years) and I were noticing how a lower level of clouds was moving very fast across the sky, and a higher band seemed not to move at all. There was some silent admiration for a second or two and then he said, "I like being alive Mommy. I like my life."
Yep... that's it right there. That's everything I need to hear, for a very very long time. I cancels out millions of I'm bored, and No one is being nice to me, and I never get to have fun.
I got a little choked up and he asked why. I said, "I work very very hard to make sure you have a good life, a life that makes you happy. That's my job. When you say that you like your life, it tells me that I'm doing a good job." It's the tip of the iceberg of the truth really, but it's what I could say in the moment that he would quickly understand.
I struggle every moment of everyday to bypass my demons, to think through my every thought before it leaves my mouth, to accommodate support, stimulate, enrich, and just plain keep up with a boy who is so different from me (who needs constant contact and almost constant conversation). More than one onlooker to my life has said it seemed precariously close to parenting a legitimately "special needs" kid. It does feel that way sometimes because his needs are so great and so very different from my own. But, what I do for him is likely no more than what every competent mom out there gives. I see it in the faces of the women I know who are moms of my son's friends. I see it so clearly. They give until it hurts, and that is just the beginning.
They and I do it to give our kids what we had, or what we wished we'd had, at their age. We want to give them everything they need for a great life, now and later. Many of us have been running on empty since their births, some of us since our birth. But we find it in us to give, and in that giving we grow deeper, wider, stronger, and greater. And sometimes something is said, or something is given back that feeds us like the purest nectar of life... and we know it has all been for them, but for us too. They are never completely separate from us. They are of us. Our hearts beat in their chests.
I like being alive Mommy. I like my life.