My Son Is Very Special To MeI value childhood. I did not have a "daddy" and my "mom" did the best she could to have a good relationship with her kids but she could not give us many things that I have determined to provide and have succeeded in giving to my son. My "dad" was neglectful and narcissistic. He really could not give but only take from his own children. I learned at an early age that not everyone loves in the same way. My dad's love was merely protecting us and putting a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. He made promises that he easily broken along with my heart. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom and in that day, she was active in our day-to-day lives but not very active in our education. I don't remember my mother reading to me. I didn't enjoy reading until I was in 6th grade. She was busy caring for the home and dad and we, their kids, were "just there".
My son was born a preemie. He was only 33 weeks and 4lb. 12 oz and 18 inches long. Beautiful. He was very intelligent and sensitive even in his early expulsion from the womb due to atrial fib and some Hershey chocolate kisses. He needed "mommy's milk" and would not "take the breast" so I pumped and feed him from the bottle; every 4 hours for the six months of his life. He had colic and we switched formulas. He slept well, seemed to be a happy baby but he didn't begin to talk until he was close to 3 years old. At the age of 7, he was diagnosed with Aspergers. He is very special. Apart from being very intelligent, he is VERY imaginative, witty and has a great sense of humor. This child sees and feels things very deeply. He senses things in his own special way and in some ways, gives me insight into the world around and within us. When we lost his little brother to stillbirth when my son was not yet 4 years old, he came to the side of my hospital bed and said "Mommy, I am sad". I listened to my child's broken heart and tearfully answered "Why are you sad honey?". He replied "The baby is dead"...I was hurt that his little heart that had prayed for a younger brother was crushed but I was so proud that my "little man" already knew that he could feel and express himself without being shamed or discounted. Later, when he was 7 years old he stood up to his 6 ft tall octogenarian grandfather and said to his grandfather's misrepresentation of an event "GRANDPA, that is a LIE!" My heart could not have been more proud at that moment, my son had learned to state the truth without fear, something that I wished that I could have done but I had not been heard and encouraged to do by my parents.
I will always listen to my child because I do not want him to ever experience the lack of connection with me that I experienced with my mom and dad. I do not want him to come home and tell me that someone was bullying him to hear me reply "Just ignore them, you are bigger than that, they will go away" and discount his feelings as my parents continually discounted mine. I did not feel heard as a child and because of that, I LISTEN TO EVERYTHING my child says. I value him as a person. I want to invest my time and life into building up the unique young man into a full grown, mature, productive and even successful man someday. I hear what he says because I know it comes from his heart...that is why I WILL ALWAYS listen to my child.