You have been with daddy and me for almost 6 years and it’s a long and winding journey we have travelled. It feels like it started yesterday but at the same time there seems to be no beginning, as life before you is hard to remember.
The first day we met, you leapt into your daddy’s arms delighted to have a father in your life. In those early weeks yours eyes were only for him and it was beautiful to see. Our time came when he went back to work and oh what a time it was. From day one you showed your dislike for boundaries and instruction by waving your hands in front of your face and shout “NO” repeatedly, a word we both used a lot at that time. You didn’t like to be touched, and when you hurt yourself and I rushed to you, you would push me away. I remember crying after you banged into the radiator really hard and then shouted at me “LEAVE ME ALONE”, I sat on the stairs in tears. I carried you out of shops, parties, playgroups and the library kicking and screaming. I told you “no”, you responded with defiance. I kept strong and firm with our routines using that 2 letter word when needed. I also smiled and softly touched you as I passed by, praised you, gave you my eyes and gently raised yours to mine. And as your eyes rose to me I hoped they would one day raise high enough to see your own beautiful face in the mirror, something too hard for you to do in those early days.
As the time passed and you started school, your excitement for learning began to flourish; the questions were and sometimes still are never ending. You really enjoyed going, didn’t look back when I dropped you off, but came out beaming at the end of the day. You loved having friends and joining in with the other children although you sometimes found it frustrating to share with them or listen to them. From many frowns and fearful glances your face began to relax into more smiles and laughter, your body however still showed you to be on constant alert for danger. Every sound questioned, the eyes flickering around, the ears almost wiggling, standing when watching the TV as if always ready for a quick getaway. But at points we saw calm, wrapping you in a towel after baths we started to hold you, to sooth you and small baby kisses were given on your hands and gradually up your arms, later we would cover your tummy and then your face.
We went through some tough days, the relentless wetting, hitting, screaming, shouting, sometimes it felt too much and I’d lock myself in the bathroom for a moment of peace. I didn’t back down I kept on with the boundaries and on with the love and by the time we reached over two years together, I think you started to understand that things weren’t going to change. There was a point where you worked out that following mummy’s requests made your life easier and you enjoyed the praise that came with it, at home things were coming together.
At school the anguish caused from interacting with your peers escalated. Your natural line of defence was to attack who ever stood in your way, younger pupil, older pupil, boy, girl, teacher, all at some point came into contact with your fist, foot and occasionally your teeth. From year 1 through to the present day school pick up has been at time an anxious experience for us both, both wondering how I would react to the events of the day. A new school year would always bring the stress of getting to know a new teacher. You always give them a honeymoon period of about 3 weeks. You want your new teacher to like you, (that’s important to you, being liked), so you try very hard to impress, but you reach a point where you need to know, just how committed they are. Your charms and enthusiasm have always won your teachers heart and everyone is always routing for you. Gradually we have found the things that work for you and how to help you when those moments of danger arise. We’ve all worked through the running and hiding, the refusing to come in from the playground, out of the bathroom, out of the cupboard, the throwing of shoes, stones, chairs, the swearing, the rudeness, the attitude to teacher, dinner lady and even headmaster. With every incident I’ve watched you’re awareness of your actions grow and your understanding of yourself develop. You like to reflect, you listen as we talk through alternative ways of dealing with a situation, how to tame the dinosaur, which you cleverly named your inner rage, aged 3.
And you really are taming that dinosaur. Your understanding of yourself and inner emotions and how you articulate them constantly amazes me. You talk of the hole in your heart from birth mum and we talk lots about how that feels and how to make that feel better. You know how change makes you feel nervous and you are starting to anticipate that emotion before you go into a new situation and again you like to talk about it. You call “I need a hug” when you are upset, even if it’s me that has upset you, you ask for small kisses at bedtime “all over me please”, because you understand the comfort that contact gives you. I tell you that at 9 you are more in touch with your emotions than some people ever are.
And although we are working everyday on some new challenge, be it the little lies or the following instructions, I know you have conquered the most enormous mountain with all the progress you’ve made. You are a truly awesome young boy who makes your daddy and me proud beyond belief, speechless with happiness to have you as ours. You have mended my broken heart and filled it over flowing with joy. Thank you.
You are my shining star.
I’ll love you always,