As Mike discussed in his touching blog entry, it’s difficult to convey the happiness and joy that Michael can bring when you are not with him every day. This past Sunday, Mike had to head out for a few hours and the boys and I sat around all morning in our pajamas. Chris was off playing his Xbox, while I sat in the living room watching “Oklahoma”. When Michael heard all the music and saw the dancing, he immediately ran over to watch it in my lap. While Laurie, Curly, and Aunt Eller sang about livin’ in a brand new state, I sat with my little boy while he giggled and snuggled with me for almost a straight hour. Although, I knew I had more pressing things to do like make a grocery list, fold laundry, and take a shower, I allowed myself to enjoy this time with him. And I know he loved it, too. No, he doesn’t tell me in words – he doesn’t have to.
I’d love to tell you the rest of our Sunday went as smoothly. I’d love to tell you he was happy and cooperative the rest of the day. I’d love to say that we went to Running Buddies (his sports program) that afternoon and he cooperated and stretched with the others, ran right alongside his buddy, and didn’t spend every single second trying to figure out how to get away from everyone and go back to the playground. I’d really love to say that – but I can’t. At one point, Michael’s buddy came over to the table where three of us moms sit and enjoy our one hour Sunday hiatus. His question? “How do I get Michael to pay attention and focus more?” I could see my two friends faces start to puff up as they tried to stifle their laughs. The question of the century. The poor kid; I didn’t even know where to start. But the hour finally came to an end, I thanked his buddy profusely and finally allowed Michael some time to go on his beloved swing. After a few minutes, it was time to pack up. I thought this particular episode of “Battle of Wills: Running Buddies Edition” had come to an end. But the second Michael got off the swing (and this session of running is over mind you) he decided to go for a sprint since he saw chips that another group had laid out under one of the pavilions for some kind of cookout. This pavilion was a GOOD 100 feet away. How his little spidey-sense picked that up, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll bring a bag of chips next time and his buddy can dangle them in front of him like the little mechanical rabbit that goes around the track during the dog races. Needless to say, that whole episode had me completely stressed out. But during our ride home, I turned on the radio, watched Michael dancing in the backseat, and felt myself begin to relax. I told myself to let it go. Instead of letting it keep me angry and upset, I let myself enjoy the music and smile at how much my little guy enjoyed it, too. Make no mistake, I was still exhausted when I got home and Mike took over Michael-duty for the evening.
Fast forward to Monday morning. I’m sitting down to have a bowl of cereal and Christopher hands me a pile of papers he’d brought home from school on Friday. Everything looks great as usual (yes, that was a brag – sorry!), and then I come upon a religon test. All of the answers are correct, and I see the word “Wonderful!” written in bright pink ink about halfway down the back of the test. The instructions for one particular item were to “Draw a picture or write a poem that will help you to express your faith in God”. In the slightly sloppy printing of a nine-year-old, this is what I see
At church I pray to you deeply, I think about all you’ve given me. I trust you to help my brother, I ask that you let my brother be safe. I thank you for helping me when I’m sick and for giving us all your Son.
Yes, tears, right into my Fiber One Caramel Crunch. I asked him at least three times “Did YOU really write this? Did someone help you?” I’m sure glad I’m doing something right.
Life is not perfect. It’s a long bumpy road ahead. But I have so much for which to be thankful. I used to be someone who dwelled on negativity. “Why me? Why my child? Why can’t my life be like his/hers?” And there are going to be days like that now and forevermore. But those days are beginning to have wider spaces and every day I find another reason to love the life I have.