I hover sometimes. I admit it. I watch, I listen, I am ready to step in.
But then I step back and watch my kids learn to navigate the world on their own. I lean back, sit on my hands, and wait to see what will happen next. Will Bear really climb up the rock wall, at his age? Will Widget help him, or wander off to do something else? If they’re both over by the swings, will they ask me to push them, or just goof around and swing on their bellies? Will they ask friend X to join their play, even if the trains are out? How will they involve friend Y if the stroller isn’t in rotation? I hang around the edges, preparing snacks, talking to the mommies, always ready with a hug or a cuddle if necessary. But my kids make their own decisions much of the time, and that’s wonderful.
I’ve been worried about Widget, as I mentioned in my last post, but I really needn’t be. Despite my worries and fears, he’s come through this year with shining colors. He adapted to a summer and fall with a sick mommy startlingly well, playing with the occasional visiting friend, snuggling with mommy and a video, reading book after book after book with me on the couch, bringing me toys and such when I couldn’t move, and snuggling me close at naptime. Our bedtime ritual became very important. We snuggle and read three books plus a bonus book, and then he asks me to “please tell me a story to help me go to sleep.” I do, and he does, and it makes him so happy. WhyDaddy and I tried to alternate bedtimes, but he always asks for mom, “Oh please, oh please, oh please,” and when I say yes, he lights up in a big smile and it makes him so very happy.
And after all that we’ve been through this year, he’s still a happy kid.
The smiles that he was born with are still there, and it doesn’t take much to bring them to the surface.
Although he often seems lost in thought, or concentrates as he figures out something new, it only takes a little silliness to send him into gales of laughter, dimpling his cheeks and relaxing him into a giant smile. Just today it happened on the swingset, as we counted down “ready, set, go!” and I pushed him with both hands, running towards and then underneath his swing, lifting him high above my head and letting go as we said “blast off!” like he’s seen his friends and their mommy do this spring, when i was almost well enough. I was well enough to be outside and to sit with them, but not strong enough to push. and then i was strong enough to push, but only a little, and only with one arm. but today, today I can push with both arms, “with two hands, mommy!” and send him flying, flying up in to the air, and back down in a gale of glee.
I stopped his preschool teacher in the hallway today and asked again how things were going. His teacher last year would come out and tell me every day what he had done, how he had grown, and whether or not he did art that day. This year, it’s much more of a trust thing, which is okay, but I’ve been worried about him. Today, she looked up at me and smiled. “He’s doing great, Susan. He’s playing with the other kids, doing art projects, sitting in circle time, and leading the others out to the playground and back. He’s all right. I promise, if he’s not, I’ll tell you.”
He’s all right.
He’s all right.
After all that we’ve been through, and all that we’ve narrowly escaped, the kid’s all right.
There’s a new post of mine up at Mothers With Cancer talking about the cysts that were found on my CT scan last week. We don’t yet have a diagnosis, but we’re hoping and praying that they’re just cysts. I’m waiting on final results from yet another test — looks like we’ll know in about a week and be able to make some decisions. Until then, I’m just writing about my kids and about BlogHer, and I’m so grateful to be able to do that. I am so going to BlogHer on Thursday, no matter what. If you see me, smile. I promise I’ll smile back — and if I get close enough to read your name tag, I just might hug you too. MNAC, you’ve been warned!