I credit the slowed pace and sun-shiny days. A few nights ago, Ty was having a hard time sleeping, while LJ snoozed away. I called Ty out of his room and snuggled with him on the couch. I don't remember anything special about our time; only that it was just that...time. Since most of our family time is spent with all four of us, the one-on-one interactions are sweet.
We had a repeat incident, tonight, in reverse. Ben headed out for the night and Ty was fast asleep, but I heard LJ whistling to himself on his top bunk. I put my book aside and called him out to the living room to settle in for some mommy and me time. I wasn't prepared for what God had in store for me.
LJ and I have continued to struggle in our relationship. He loves me just fine, but most days I don't think he likes me very much. He always prefers Ben's company and trying to talk to him is like pulling teeth. His answers are clipped; his mind distracted. Completely opposite from Ty.
I love LJ as my own and feel a deep drawing to connect with him, but so far, our moments have been few and far between. Even though our conversation, tonight, still jumped from place to place, LJ never stopped looking into my eyes. It was like we clicked. For the first time...in 16 months.
After a few moments of tickling and cuddling, the conversation went [pretty much] just like this.
LJ do you know how much mommy loves you?
Yes.I'm so glad you are in our family. Did you know that you lived with five families before coming home to me and daddy and Ty?
Yes.Do you remember anything about the families you lived with? You had lots of mommies.
And daddies?No, actually your daddy is the first daddy you've ever had.
Did you see me jumping in the water with my daddy? [We went to the beach, today.]Yes. You are my brave, brave boy.
Giggle. I am very brave.Do you know that God is going to use you to do BIG things for him?
Me?Yes. Because not only are you brave, but you are such a lover. You have a big HUGE heart that never stops loving.
I'm going to drive a police car!You are? Well that is a very brave job to have. Why do you want to be a policeman?
Because they go right to the emergencies!That's right. That's why they have to be so brave. Hey, wasn't that cool that those girls got adopted in the movie we watched, tonight? [Despicable Me]
Yes.Would you like to adopt little sisters...or would you rather have a little brother.
A brother! I would teach him how to swim to the raft. And then I would show him how to hold his knee and do a cannon ball...just like that big humungous kid at the raft.Oh -
Do you know who else does canon balls like that?Daddy?
No. Captain Hook!Oh...I didn't know Captain Hook did canon balls. LJ, you will be such a good big brother. Your little brother will learn all sorts of cool things from you.
I really like your eyelashes, Mama. Did you know that spiders don't have eyelashes?Hmm...you're probably right about that.
And they don't drink coffee. Only daddies.I held back a laugh. You're probably right about that, too. Can we go back to our conversation about you living in lots of homes? Do you remember anything about your other mommies, honey?
I remember when you and daddy came to get me... [His eyes looked lost for a minute.]
I held back tears. You do?
Instead of answering, right away, he hugged my neck tight. Then he said, "I love you mommy. I'm glad you are my mommy...." and after a long pause, he added, "....forever."I held LJ tight for a long time and couldn't say anything past the lump in my throat. I don't know what's locked away behind those deep eyes, but I know that God has lifted his countenance. It's hard sometimes, in the challenging moments, to decipher whether we're dealing with LJ's personality, past experiences, or typical four year old behavior (since our other four year old thinks he's six).
Our conversation, tonight, was confirmation to my heart that our son is going to be more than okay. He might be moody and busy and full of jump-high energy, but he is also creative and thoughtful and funny. He just needs to express things in his own time.
As we grow together, I might end up being his go-to confidante when he's wrestling with thoughts or pain. Or I might not be. I might only get glimpses into his heart here and there. I'm okay with either scenario...because in both scenarios I get to be his mom. I get to experience him and enjoy him and allow God to use him to shape my own life.
I remember the day his daddy and I came to get him too...