Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not Just Barney Loves My Kid

I argued one day with Sean about loving him…

Yep, another moment to put down on my “Mom of the Year” application.

“So, Mom…Do you love me?”

One simple question and I just snapped.

But it’s so much more than that.  Sean got into a groove where he asked me day after day all day long.  I couldn’t pass him in the hallway without him blocking my path and asking me.

“So, Mom…Do you love me?”

I would always sigh and say, “Yes, Sean.  Of course I love you.”

But then he’d ask me 5 minutes later…. or an hour… or a day.

It got so frustrating and I know I should be more understanding.

I know it’s just his autism giving him another quirk…another habit that he’ll have for awhile before he moves on to the next.

But it went on for months and eventually wore me down.

Will it ever end?  Will it ever stop?

Finally, after getting asked one more time on the way to my bedroom with a load of laundry, I had had enough.

I shouted.  I screamed.  I’m sure a few extra awful words were thrown in there as well.

“Of course I love you.  I wouldn’t have gone through fertility treatments, 25 hours of labor, and an emergency c-section if I didn’t love you!”

Probably not exactly what he wanted to hear but then again, I have yet to fill the blank space on the mantle with my “Mom of the Year” award.

I tried the other route and reminded him that I tell him that I love him all the freaking time…

And that I wouldn’t be there to help him every step of the way, with every difficulty, every meltdown, and celebrate his every accomplishment if I didn’t love him.

Then it dawned on me…

Maybe he doesn’t know that I love him.  Maybe he wonders. 

Does he really not know?

Is it possible his autism has stolen that feeling of security and love that a child feels from his parent?


How am I going to handle that?

Hopefully, it isn’t that….

Please tell me it’s not…

Sean promised to stop asking and for the most part he’s been good about it.

Instead, now he says, “You love me and I love you.”

I picture Barney the over-sized purple dinosaur in my living room.

Maybe Sean’s reassuring himself…or me…

Maybe it’s a mantra that comforts him.

Either way, it’s OK with me.

I probably shouldn’t have taken it so personally when he asked me before.

I should have been more understanding…more patient…more everything.

But the one thing that I am absolutely positively sure of is this…

I love my kid with everything I have…

And if I had more then I would love more…

But then I’d ask for more…

More patience, more understanding…

But most of all, more love.

More love to give to my son…

More love to give to all those kids out there who could use a little more in their lives.

So go ahead and ask me, Sean.

I will reassure you.  I will hug you and hold you.

I will be there for every moment.

And I will love you… with everything I have…

And with everything I wish I had.