sons, for whom we want everything

What happens to our children happens, in a mysteriously refracted way, to us.
When the boys experience rejection we feel it with them.  When one is criticized we sense the blade of sharp words pierce our own skin.  A part of us detects, like the vibrations of a distant bell, when either of them gets hurt.  We wake to some sort of molecular disturbance when one of them spikes a middle of the night fever.  The insecurity that grows in them accrues to us as well.

When Tucker is having a rough day, when small things loom large, and large things cast big shadows,  my day feels dark and bumpy too.  I know that it is not his worst day, his hardest thing, I know that he has already been through worse.  I also know, exactly, the way certain things can feel Mt. Everest in the moment.  I always try to look at Tuck with eyes that say You are good enough, even when my words are asking him to be better.

I have been tempted on so many occasions to make myself a bridge, to throw my body at his feet to help him through the awkward and around the uncomfortable, over the ugly and across the unknown, to make something easier for him, a friendship, a problem, a learning curve.  When I feel the swell of mama bear, I can't always tell whether it's an anxious meddlesomeness or a protective kinship.  But as his mother there is always, always this desperate, clumsy desire to make it better, even when I know perfectly well that nothing can.

What I can do, though, is remind him that he is wonderful.  Remind him that tomorrow is another day, that new and better things await.  Remind him that he is good enough until he believes it.

I speak the words to my son, but I might as well use them to remind myself, too.

1 comment:

rht said...

Jenni, you are wonderful.
Believe it!