386 days of loving more!
I’ve written a lot about my oldest son and his emotional struggles.
I’ve written a lot about my third son and his speech delay.
And I’ve obviously written a lot about my fourth son and his seizure activity.
But I haven’t written a lot about sweet #2. I am not sure why. It certainly isn’t because there is nothing to write. There is plenty of good, and plenty of not-so-good. If I had to guess I haven’t written about him because of all four boys, he is the one that I have figured out the least. I “know” generally speaking how to help my first, third and fourth sons with their issues because I understand their issues. Although there is no perfect clarity, I at least have a roadmap and a group of people to support and help me with their distinct challenges.
But #2, sweet #2, well, I am still working to understand how to help him. He struggles to fit in and has been picked on and excluded more than a four year old should be, which is perhaps why I don’t write about it. It is outright too bloody painful to admit and share. He struggles with impulse control more so than typical for his age group, which is perhaps why I don’t write about it because I feel judgment and labels will come flying. And he struggles with always feeling not good enough and well, sometimes I feel I contribute to that.
But you know what else, he gives the greatest hugs in the world. He rubs my back sometimes…just because. He tells me he loves me first thing in the morning right after he asks me “how did you sleep mommy?” And he has a zest for life that is absolutely, positively 110% inspirational.
Rumor has it that despite his struggles, which can be a turn off to me at times, and to his classmates and his teachers, he is an awesome kid. Wait, that’s not a rumor. It’s true. My second son is awesome. Like all of us in this world, he is just trying to find his way and as his mom, I am just trying to find my way to support him because the last thing that I want to be is another reason he feels picked on or not good enough. Not the rumor, but the truth, is that I just want to love him as much as I can. And sometimes that means letting him be right. Because sometimes, being right doesn’t really matter.
We were driving in the car last week and the song “Rumor Has It” by Adele came on. #1 started singing.
“Rumor has it. Rumor has it.”
Then #2 felt the need to sing too.
“Puma has it. Ooooo Ooooo Puma has it.”
“That’s wrong! It’s Rumor has it. R-U-M-O-R!” said #1.
“No, it’s PUMA. I swear.” #2 insisted with such a passion that I almost thought he was right. I felt the need to intervene and correct him, why I don’t know. Maybe because he is also in speech therapy and is working on his R’s?
“Actually #2, it is rumor. Rrrr-umor.” I said sweetly and patiently.
“NO Mommy. It’s not. I heard it with my very own ears. I’m pretty smart you know. Really smart actually. Trust me, it’s Puma has it.”
“Sweetie, is sure does sound like Puma but it is Rumor.” I said again. And again, why? Why was I making such a big deal of this? Fingers crossed the song would be off the radio soon and it wouldn’t matter anyway. For the record I can’t stand this song. Can’t. Stand. It.
“NO MOMMY! YOU ARE WRONG AND I AM RIGHT!” He said to me ever so loudly and this time with tears in his eyes. He wasn’t crying…yet. The tears were just caught in the corner of his eyes, waiting to fall out as they always do. As they always do.
#2 cries a lot. He cries when he gets picked on (understood.) He cries when no one sits next to him at birthday parties (the crying understood. The not sitting next to him? Not so much. He is awesome and funny and has a heart of gold.) And he cries when he tries so hard to say something right, when he tries so hard to be liked, to be a part of something.
Those small tears were the best gift ever to me. They reminded me that sometimes, being right really doesn’t matter. That sometimes, letting things go and moving on is not only okay, but necessary. This was one of those cases.
“Okay #2, you might very well be right. You do have good hearing ears, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do.”
The refrain played again.
“See mommy, Puma has it, I told you so. I am SOOOOO smart.”
And I was sooooo smart for letting go and accepting that it really is a rumor that it’s necessary as a parent to always be right. Because letting go, letting my son be right over such a small thing to me, but a huge thing to him, well, it gave him a moment of self confidence that he so desperately seeks…and needs.
So often I yelled because I wanted things my way because my way was *obviously* right, ie. how to clean up and organize the basement. As soon as I learned to let go a bit and pick my battles more carefully, yelling less became infinitely easier.