It took four and a half years.
Not for me the head over heels with my little boy when he was born . . . not that day . . . month . . . year . . . or the years after.
Scout and Alex bonded on sight. As Scout took care of his tiny bits with so much vaseline . . . you knew that daddy and that boy had decades of baseball and bonding in front of them.
Me? I was exhausted from my work, my family (remember the whole my dad dying of cancer and his crazy girlfriend terrorizing the family), the move, oh and that case of depression that wasn’t just post partum – unless you mean post partum from MY BIRTH.
I was caught up in my own disconnect and survival.
And then Alex turned three and well, he didn’t like me most of the time. I’d walk in the room and he’d scream NO MOMMY YOU GO AWAY.
Sometimes I would. Sometimes I would leave the room. Once I left the state.
Once, after a nine hour drive, in the same week that just about killed me anyway, I walked in and he told me to go home.
I didn’t cry myself to sleep that night. The Xanax took too long to work. I was dry by then.
I pulled it together. I had six weeks from that night until Alex was moving back with me. Until the transition from Daddy to Mommy happened. Until I had to sack up and create this new life with him. This life that wasn’t at all turning out as I planned and oh I was terrified . . . of failing . . . of being rejected . . . of screwing him up . . . of getting hurt . . .
By the time he got here, I was okay. Not a sparkling, stellar, stunning version of okay, but I was okay.
And he liked me. He actually liked me. And I had all my focus on him. For the first time in his four years, I was able to focus on him the same way Scout has always been able to focus on him. I was finally parenting the way I knew I could . . . Not like Scout, but as good as . . . and in Alex’s eyes, I knew it was good enough.
I’ve fought my way through a lot of tangled vines and quicksand and warfields in the last 7 months. A lifetime’s worth of garbage . . . worked through. Only took therapy and a life coach to screw my head on.
I can finally dream again. Big wild dreams. Laying in bed and imagining the exact kind of wonderful I’d like to create.
One morning as we were waking up (because Alex always but always wakes up and pads his way into my room, up into my bed, sometime in the middle of the night) we started talking about our home and our family and what we wanted. I was amazed at some of his answers.
I looked at him with no small amount of awe. I spent the next several hours thinking.
Finally in the late afternoon, I asked him if he wanted to know what I really wanted. He said YES. I explained that telling him what I wanted didn’t mean it was for sure going to happen – we talked about that for a while (I knew the window of time was slim before he was distracted by his feet or something) – and when I felt pretty sure he was understanding me – there in the back room of our little home, I told him my dearest wish. That thing I picture as I fall asleep. That snapshot fantasy. I told him. I shared my hopes with my little boy.
Because at long last I loved him so much, that NOT telling him was just . . . it made no sense . . .
Creating this life for us together . . . well, we will work together on it . . . me and my partner in crime . . . me and this boy the universe has trusted Scout and me with . . . me and my son. My Alex.