There is a saying that goes something like this,
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about."
It's so incredibly true! My children have taught me so much about life and love, more than I had learned in the 28 years prior to their arrival into our family.
Trevor called me into his bedroom tonight to tuck him into bed. I had let him stay up for a while in his bedroom playing with his "Speed Stack" cups and he was ready to put himself to bed. I went in and tucked him in and gave him a hug and kiss. As I was bent over, he asked me if I was proud of him. I told him I was most definitely proud of him, how we could see how hard he was trying and how much I love him. He asked if I love him even when he's naughty. I assured him I love him just as much then as I do when he's behaving. I went on to tell him that I love him good, bad, happy, sad ....that he's in my heart always. I started tearing up and so did he. We hugged and kissed. We cried together. We wiped each others tears. He told me that he loves me so very much. He told me how he doesn't mean to be naughty or hurt me. I told him that I know he doesn't. We talked about how far he's come since the hospitalization. He's a different kid. He's our kid - the kid we felt like we "lost" just one short year ago. We ended up hugging and crying some more.
He showed me where he had written his name inside a couple books of his - the inside cover. He said he wanted to pretend that he was the author. He was afraid I'd be upset. Instantly I was brought back to my own childhood and how I had wrote my name inside my books too. Heck, I still have some of those books and I've passed them on to my kids. But I remember how angry my mother would be. And here I was the parent in the same situation. And I realized at that moment I had a choice to make. I could flip out like my mother did - I could rant and rave about how he was defacing books - books bought with my money. Or I could tell him it was OK and let him know I wasn't upset. Which did I choose? Let me just say we hugged some more and he knew I wasn't upset at all. Really, it's such a minor thing. He hadn't torn out pages - he didn't write on every page - he simply put one word on the inside cover - "Trevor". So much bigger than that one simple word was the fact he was using his imagination. He was pretending to be the author. How freakin' fabulous is that?
These few minutes tonight have left me near tears the rest of the night. Tears of joy! I am so incredibly lucky...so incredibly blessed....so incredibly humbled by my children.
I have two extremely smart children and yes, every day, while I am trying to teach them all about life, they unknowingly teach me about life and love!
It's been a really long year. Looking back at the beginning of the year - namely February, March and April and thinking about Trevor's three hospitalizations, and I am overcome with emotions. He's been home since April 12th and yet it's still so very raw for me. Having him hospitalized for a month was by far the hardest thing I've done as a parent, and yet, it was the most incredible thing I've done. We gave him a gift - we gave him back to himself. It was a sacrifice we made as a family but we did it for him. Seriously that was the longest month of my parenting life. But when I see the leaps and bounds he's made since then, I am so thankful that we did what we had to. Between that hospital stay and his behavioral therapist, he's made so many huge improvements. Trevor is trying so hard - we can see it everyday - in the big things and the little things. I'll be honest, I was terrified that Trevor would hate me for putting him in the hospital. So to have him tell me how much he loves me and to know he genuinely means it, to see the tears flow from his perfect blue eyes as he tells me, well its' the very thing my heart needs to hear in order to heal the pain that I experienced that month.
I love him beyond words...to the moon and back! I catch myself starring at him as he talks to me and trying desperately to remember what he was as a baby...he's growing up so fast....I wish I could slow down time just a little. I wish I could go back to those first days and whisper in his ear, and tell him that the road ahead will present some bumps and struggles, but together will get through it and that we'll always love him. You know just recently I had blogged about how I worried about his future and yes, I still do in some ways, but I know we've been through such a massive hurdle and we got through it together, we can tackle any mountain that comes our way.
Don't get so caught up in teaching your children, that you don't stop to recognize when they are teaching you! Sometimes we learn the most from those we don't expect can teach us!