“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
My 8 year old son is currently sleeping- mouth agape, wrapped in his favorite fuzzy blanket, snoring loudly, and probably drooling on the vacant space of my bed. Peaceful and puffy eyed. As time goes on, I find he has inherited a few things from his momma. Big puffy eyes after crying a good cry, being just one of those things.
A little over an hour ago, while doing our nightly “highs and lows” my mom instincts felt there was more happening (behind the scenes) to my sweet boy. I will protect the details but explain the experience he and I shared because it was magical. Real big feelings inside of a sweet little boy.
9 years ago, after going for a run around campus and feeling “wrong” inside, I had the realization I hadn’t had my period in… oh shoot…a while.
“No way.” I thought to myself. “I’m on the pill!” But then some inner knowing replied: “yeahhhhh….dont care! you’re pregnant!” Immediately I went to buy a 3 pack of the most expensive pregnancy test (thinking that would be the most accurate) and sure enough, 20 min later, found myself alone, in the tiny bathroom of my 500sqft college apartment…pregnant on birth control.
After shock and sobs, a little more shock, I sobbed offering up the most sincere and short prayer to whatever God would listen saying: “I am NOT ready… I am “not” ready! Please let this boy be GOOD…because I am NOT ready.”
First of all. How did I just “know” it was a boy? Weird right? But I just knew. I always knew with Peter. *My last kid was a crap shoot. My second? A lucky guess. But Peter? I just “knew.”*
Weeks after finding out I was pregnant, I started getting this “feeling” that would come over me at the most random times. I’d be in class, grocery shopping, getting ready for bed, eating pizza, working… And without having a thought train leading me there, something inside kept repeating this line: “he is SO good. SO SO GOOD.”
I couldn’t force this feeling ever, and if I thought about the words independently: “he is good. He is so so good.” I felt a little crazy. But when that feeling and line came on its own, in all those random ways during my pregnancy, I would feel so connected and calm about being this baby’s mom.
Obviously I didnt tell many people about this ethereal comfort I was getting, because I was socially aware “enough” to know you sound really weird saying things like: “The human parasite growing inside of my gut chamber is just SO SO GOOD. I can FEEL it.”
But it was true. It still is true. If I could pick one word to describe him still, it would be the word: “GOOD.” To the core. Anyone who spends time with him would come up with similar words. Peter is often described as: “kind, gentle, thoughtful, sweet, playful, happy, golden…a good boy.”
So tonight, as he was working through his 3 lows of the day and 3 highs, I had the same feeling that said: “you’re pregnant” prompt me to keep gently asking him to explain “why” or “what do you mean by that”. On any other given day, these lows and highs would have seemed normal or innocuous. There was a tension to him though. A pressure build I could “feel.” And once he felt he was safe? A topic came up that was an easy avenue to access his real hearts issues and he let. it. all. out.
He kept using this phrase: “I just feel so much pressure mom…” wiping away tears while referring to letting someone specific in his life down. “What if I mess up? What if I can’t do what they told me to? What if I lose their respect?”
I listened to him, fully engaged, led by love. I said things like: “You make sense.” “You’re safe baby.” “How did that make you feel?” “Is that everything about that? Or is there more?” “Do you think that is true?” “What is true that you know baby?”
And he just kept talking. Layer after layer. The amount of things he ties together. The amount he remembers. The amount he cares. It was breathtaking to witness.
The same thought and feeling washed over me without my prompting again: “He is SO SO good.”
“I just get so frustrated sometimes when…” or “It’s too easy for me mom, I’m so bored!” “I really want to NOT feel that way” In referring to other things now being discovered together in open dialogue.
The honesty. The trust. The clarity.
After tears covered his face, by the initial layers uncovered—I asked him: “Would you like me to hold you? Or would you like to stay over there?” He said: “I’ve been wanting to come hug you this whole time.” I stretched out my arms and replied: “Come here baby. Let me hold you for a bit. You’re safe.”
This was the best part. Once I had him in my arms on the couch, rubbing his hair while he kept talking, I got to witness the root of things affecting him. He expressed his great love for people in his life. He talked about things that really hurt his feelings. *and it was so pure* The worries on his mind. The things that make him feel angry. The things he longs for.
And I just held him. “You’re safe baby. You’re doing so well. You’re opening up SO well. This is so good. You are so good son.”
An hour went by. Just like that. I felt the physical tension he was carrying into the nights conversation replaced by dropped shoulders and sighs. I watched as he shifted the conversation to how much he was looking forward to playing football in the fall.
“I’m crying now because I’m so happy I get to play football mom.”
“I know baby. You love playing dont you?”
“Yes mom. I love it so much. I just love getting my aggression out, and making friends, and the game is so fun.”
“I know baby. It is fun.”
“I wish I would’ve talk to you sooner about all of my feelings building inside over these last couple of days.”
*I thought to myself. Some people goes years shoving things down inside of them, thinking they can manage the pressure that builds. Inevitably it will escape somehow. I know this first hand. I have bottled things up far longer than a few days. Look at him being so intolerant of just a few days of build up.*
“Look at you baby. You did so awesome tonight. You shared it with me. I will be safe. It no longer is yours alone to carry and I will help you any way a momma can. You did so good.”
“Yeah. I feel A LOT lighter.”
“I bet you do baby.”
“My arm is kind of falling asleep. Can I move now?”
We both laughed and ended the conversation with a few more “tie this topic up” or “thank you” exchanges.
I can hear him still snoring in the room as I sit on my reading couch and type: “This is why you do it Aubrey. This is why you spend so much time researching about good parenting. This is why you heal your own wounds so you can show up for them. This is why you save emotional energy for them if you can manage it. This is why you do consistent “highs and lows” to practice expressing and learning feelings. This is why you try and get to know your kids with 5-10 min of quality interaction everyday so they feel seen and safe when it matters. This is why you stay in tune. For moments like these.”
This is real life magic. This is the “payout” for all the freaking grunt work of motherhood that I hate so much. *yes I said hate* lol
Witnessing your child be so raw, and true is magical. He did SO good tonight.
He is… “so so good.”
I feel so (so) thankful I get to be his mom.
Thank you for reading sweet thing,
Love in. Love out.