My son is a kind of mirror to me in so many ways, and yet as I write the word "mirror" that is just not the right analogy. I see him more as this bright and shining prism that focuses what comes in and sprays it out, breaking it up into all of its components. He says himself, "I have to see it to believe it," just like his Daddy, and then in the next breath says, "Ghosts are just people who died and stayed around so we don't have to be afraid of them, right mom?" and he is just like me.
Tonight Daddy is away at Outdoor School, and my son is having troubles. He doesn't like it when the days are mixed, and the schedule doesn't feel right. Tonight he sleeps with mommy, as it is a comfort to both of us. An hour into bedtime, I hear him muttering in the bedroom, and some soft sniffles. I ignore him for awhile, as he has his own habits of dealing with bedtime, until I realize he has really begun to whoop it up in there and sounds inconsolable, in a very subdued sort of way. His brand of "whooping it up" is a frenzied sort of muttering, marked with tears.
When I go in to see him, I put my arms around his slight frame and ask, "What's up, buddy?" He tells me how he is very upset that he left his night light on in his room and he just can't sleep cause now it is using electricity and no one is in there, and it is really upsetting to him.
I almost want to laugh, but I see how it hurts him to have done something he thinks is so wrong. Our big policy around here is to shut off lights and recycle these days, and perhaps I've made such a deal over it, and he has internalized it so much, that to break from habit has bothered him to no end.
I hug him close and assure him that Mommy takes care of those little things (and make a mental note to turn off his light later). I kiss away his tears, and taste their saltiness, and I think to myself what a poor little dear. He is so worried over doing the right things, and that is just like me. I never want to dissapoint, and it turned me inside out many times when I was growing up. I had the desire to make happy all those around me, and it just tore me up when it didn't work.
I see his path lying out before him, and I hug him even tighter. I almost want to cry as I feel the heartache of his future troubles coming over me, then I stop myself and I say, "Hey. You had troubles, and you are a better person for them. Don't wish for his life to be an easy, flat road. What a boring ignoramus you'd have for a son." It is true, and I surely do know it, too.
I don't wish his life to be easy, I just hope he is happy, and I hug him so tight he finally says, "Okay, Mommy...too much hugs." and in his next breath, "Will you cuddle me when you come to bed?" Of course I promise him, as I give him too many kisses, mostly on his eyes and around the corners of his little mouth, and then I hold his head in my hands and say, "No worries, little boy! Mama takes care of things." He sighs, and I feel him relax, finally, completely. Now he will sleep.
He is deeply sensitive and stubbornly strong all at once. I live that dichotomy, so I know it well.
I love that shiny little boy with all of my heart, and I soak up all the bits of broken light he lets forth. What a beautiful child.