Last night, you had your first piano recital. You played "Jolly Old Saint Nicolas", and you did great. But the event gave you an overwhelming amount of fear and anxiety. You stressed all day and told me your whole body shook as you waited in your front row seat for your turn.
Afterward, we all enjoyed a fun hour with our good friends for ice cream. Then it was time for home…
Lately, it's been getting harder and harder for you to fall asleep. The high anxiety throughout the day mixed with fun time and sugary ice cream made it all the worse.
We have an extensive routine which includes family prayer, Yuki coming to bed with you, me putting all your blankets just so, reading you a story, you reading me a story, cuddling, doing "happy thoughts" together out loud, putting a smilie face on you shirt with eucalyptus essential oil… then when I leave the room, you read to your stuffed animals, listen to a story on your iPad while laying on your tummy in starlight, TRYING to fall asleep.
This routine begins around 8:50pm. You haven't fallen asleep before 11:30pm in about two weeks.
It's been hard on you.
We feel like we've tried everything.
Last week you even asked me if you could just take some kind of medicine to help you. I laughed, thinking you were joking, and said something about how we don't own drugs like that. You added, in a very serious tone, "Benadryl makes people tired."
We have never nor are we planning to ever give you a medicinal sleep aid - but that just proved to me you are at your end with this sleeping issue.
Last night, we started your routine about 30 mins early. You were REALLY tired.
Before I went to bed, I went into your toy room to set up your Christmas Elves for your morning surprise. You saw from your room that the light was on, and you got up to turn it off, not knowing I was there. Seeing me in the room scared you SO much and triggered so much more anxiety that there was no way you could go back to sleep.
After some talking and cuddling, and Daddy cuddling and talking, we had you take a shower to try to calm your body and mind. Afterward, I just crawled into bed with you and committed to staying until you fell asleep. This isn't something I would usually do, because we try to avoid crutches. But there was just no way, with all you had going on, a nightmare from the previous night now fresh on your mind, and then the toy room scare. No way.
So we cuddled in. You wrapped your arms around me and told me how everything would just be fine if you could only have your mommy, always. i know this feeling so well. sometimes i STILL feel that way. Then you started talking in a way I never expected. Not until you were collage age, or older. Maybe even not until you were a parent yourself…
you thanked me, whole heartedly for BEING THERE FOR YOU, always. You said I was the best Mom in the world. You thanked me for always taking good care of you and for always being there no matter what. I don't remember all the words so much as I remember the pouring out of your heart. It was so sweet and tender.
I don't do anything I do so you'll take note or thank me for it. I love you this way because you are my Bip-bip. My Nubby Bubbles. My one and only little boy. There is no human I have encountered who has my heart like you do. I am yours.
But to hear you say thanks the way you did. To hear that you recognize that I have and will do anything for you, at just 10 years old…
You told me a few days ago, "If I could manage my own self I would not have any allergies, (something else I can not remember) and I would be more mature." I remember thinking you were pretty mature to even wish you could control your system like that. But I'd say you got me beat by a landslide in the department of recognition and gratitude. I don't think I appreciated my parents like you do until well after I moved out of their house.
You're a pretty special guy.
I know you don't think you're good enough. I know you don't feel adequate. I know you feel like you'll never be "normal" - but I'm watching you kid. I've been watching you every single step of the way. And I promise you, you are Just Fine. You've got what it takes, you're more than enough, and everywhere you fall short, you're Big God is Better.
You are right about one thing though. You are not normal. You're complex, intricate, brilliant in ways that mess you up for your age but will take you anywhere you want to go when you're older. You're skeptical, wise, and filled with caution. You're passionate, honest, and intensely aware. I have been having the time of my life watching you grow over the past ten years, and you are anything but a normal boy. And I would not change one thing about you.
You inspire me.
You make me joyful beyond reason.
You are my heart and soul.
Knowing you has made my life so good.
I am yours.
Always will be.