I told you that a break from each other was a good idea, didn't I?
Last night, while Bug was sleeping the peaceful sleep of an adored grandson over at Grandma's house, I was *finally* snagging some computer time. I used my precious minutes posting a heart wrenching blog post about how I refused to feel guilty about needing time away from my son, catching up on my emails, and reading some of your more recent blog posts, as well. (Boy, you guys are certainly a creative bunch. And an active bunch. You really put my once a week posting to shame, ladies. Thanks for that.) Obviously, I enjoy reading each of you or I wouldn't have you clogging my reader up, right? But there are a couple of you who almost always write something that seems to resonate with something in me as a parent. Last night, I came across a post by a mother I admire tremendously, and not just for her ability to document daily the growing up of her daughter. Her story is not mine to share, but for the few of you who might not already read her (and if you don't, why not? She's brilliant, people!), click on over to see the particular post I was moved by last night.
For those of you who may not already know, Bug is my challenge child. He is the piece of my heart that requires the most patience, the most understanding, the most attention. You know about his ADHD. You know about his mood disorder. Did you also know that he was born with a partial cleft lip and palate? Oh yes, this son of mine is a constant wonder. And I adore him. Anyway, I made a comment on that post of my cyber-friend's. It was meant as a word of encouragement to her, a simple moment of understanding between moms. Things are so often so much more than what they were originally intended, aren't they? That comment stuck with me all night last night, and again this morning when I was reading a brief email from my friend.
Bug is a walking, talking, laughing, smiling gift of tolerance and acceptance.
When I wrote that, I was talking about his cleft. When Bug was born with that tiny imperfection, I only saw it for a moment. That micro-moment right before I fell completely and irrevocably in love with my beautiful, perfect baby boy. He was so completely perfect in my eyes and in my heart that I was absolutely dumbfounded when someone told me that they were "proud of me for taking him out in public", like he was some sort of odd embarrassment. (To be fair, the person saying that to me without question did not mean it like that... it was more of a comment on my ability to completely and totally be blind to anything but what a gorgeous baby I had just given birth to.) Oh, we had surgery done on his lip when he was just 4 months old so that he could eat without difficulty. There is still work to be done on the palate, but since the affected area is along the jawbone any work needed is primarily cosmetic (some orthodontic work is needed, but it's not affecting his ability to eat, speak or breathe), he has been able to lead a normal kid life with it. Well, as normal as he can with the other challenges he faces daily.
As Bug has gotten older, I find myself still completely in love with my baby boy. And it occurs to me that it's not in spite of all of his personal challenges, but because of them. As he goes about his daily life, he is constantly challenging others to learn tolerance and acceptance, just by being a little different. Teachers have to discover alternate ways to reach him. Playmates have to learn a level of patience not always found in kids that age. And as his parents, we have to reevaluate everything we ever learned with Jock. And toss it out the window. Bug is different. Bug is unique. Bug is..... Bug.
His heart is full of love and acceptance for everyone he knows, and everyone he ever meets. He idolizes his older brother, and wants to spend all his free time with his dad. And he still wants to cuddle with his mama at night. There is not another child like this one in all of creation, and I am beyond blessed to have been given the responsibility of raising him to become the most amazing man he can be. As I said, Bug is a walking, talking, laughing, smiling gift of tolerance and acceptance.
And we're good with that.