Wednesday, November 21, 2012


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.

everything I need to hear.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!!


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

You are blessed, Rachel. Happy Thanksgiving.

Jennifer Stotz Murphy said...

You made me tear up a little.

beth conklin said...

beautiful- thank you for sharing

David Family said...

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday. Bookmarked it after exploring a bit. I was heart warmed when I cam across the post about your boy picking up trash because, well, someones got to care right? Had to get myself up and out the door to take care of things and what do ya know I spotted a celebrity. (I think, I could be wrong.) I volunteered in my boy's after school class and there sharing chocolate rice crispy delight was your boy. At least I think it was. I asked him "Hey, do you pick up trash sometimes when you see it on the ground?" He said "Yea, sometimes" I said "Well you sure do make your mama proud."

*how crazy Id sound if I am in fact wrong and it was some other red head humanitarian sweetheart and not your kid.

Anyways thanks for the reads if you have moved to wordpress I would love the address.

Rosalind said...

Thankyou so much for this, Rachel. I have only just found your blog and am writing long after you posted this so I don't know if you will receive my comment - I have three children now aged forty, thirty and nineteen. Big gaps, I know! I think I felt lonely a lot of the time when I was with my small children and I felt so guilty about that and guilty that I wasn't giving them the 'perfect' life even though I didn't really believe that was possible. I guess all parents know how it feels to run on empty but I thought it was only me! Your words have given me the feeling of connection that I didn't have back then and even now help to assuage the guilt I didn't even realise I felt. I now have three grandchildren and care for one granddaughter for one week in four. So I have a second chance. I am better at being in the moment with her but still have times when I feel inadequate in the role of caring for such a special little person. I think I'll write down your words and keep them with me for those precarious isolated times. Again, many thankyous for expressing so well what I have been concealing.