When your child is born, something just kind of snaps in your brain. All of a sudden you operate on a kind of loop--you constantly wonder if they've eaten enough, if their size is "normal," if they're happy or sad or in need of anything. If my relationship with my mother is any guideline, I'm keen to say that loop doesn't stop once your child enters adulthood. Most of what I remember from Kerrigan's newborn days is logging what side she nursed on or when she had a wet diaper. That loop is only exacerbated when you toss a disability diagnosis into the mix.
I remember the very first time that I took my child into the emergency room to be hospitalized for his mental health. He was 8 and he'd just shoved me down the stairs. He came running down them after me. He was crying so hard. He looked down at me and told me he didn't want to feel this way anymore.
We're mothers. We're the ones expected to stay. We're the ones who have to hold everything together. We're the rock, the glue. We're nurses, maids, teachers, lawyers, mediators, judges...we're strong! But sometimes we aren't.
It’s hard sometimes because his personality is a force to be reckoned with. I hear it all the time. He’s a boy! He’s allllll boy. What a boy! ! And I see people laughing at these statements. It happens so much. And most people are well-meaning and I get a laugh as they say it, but truth be told it really bothers me. It bothers me because these people see the impulsive and aggressive side of my son, and they laugh it off. They see him arguing with me about something insignificant (like how he wants yet ANOTHER transformer from Target) and laugh and make excuses for his behavior. “Oh, he’s just a boy!”
Do my research? But, that was what people said when they told you not to vaccinate. How could science back up both positions? I didn’t know what to think.
I was laying in bed with my oldest son tonight, like every other night, reading books. When we finished, he asked me to snuggle him. I rolled over and put my arm around him and I could feel his little five year old body melt into mine. I pulled him closer and kissed his the top of his head. It was then that he said, “I don’t want kisses. You should ask before you kiss someone to make sure it’s okay. Sometimes I like kisses, and sometimes I do not like kisses and you kissed me and I didn’t want to be kissed because that’s my body rule.”