Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Daddy's boy

"Mommy, is daddy coming home tomorrow?"

The question has been asked approximately 407 times in 2 days by Isaac.

I look down into his big baby blues.  I take his hand and walk with him to the calendar on the kitchen wall.  "Let's look."  I point to the January 9-square and then count with him...until we are ten days out.  "This is when Daddy comes home from China."  There is a deep sigh, signaling a resolve...for the moment.  Schedules always seem to calm and refocus my son--and I feel I've helped reassure us both.  Then...softly..."I miss Daddy, much..."

It's hard not to be kind of jealous, actually.  And this is a good thing.

For moms, we take satisfaction in being needed.  We may not rejoice in it and we may not admit it; but we do.  From tied shoes to wiped mouths to dried eyes; slathering on sunscreen or Neosporin with a Bandaid; hugs, kisses, washing up or tucking in...the list can seem endless while simultaneously monotonous...

But this is part of the gift of motherhood:  loving without condition, and giving without expecting.  We mothers know our kids before we see them.  We have a picture of them without having to look them in the eyes, and this picture is enough.  We just feel.  It's what we do...

For a long time, Dan struggled to connect with Isaac.  My husband is a talker and a visualizer, and to have a son so limited verbally, and who barely made eye contact was like the two existed with a giant heavy wall between them.

Of course, Dan loved him, but he really truly couldn't see him...or be seen by him.  He, like most fathers, needed to see.

Then, one day, as if the stones from the wall had been slowly removed one by one--the separation between Daddy and son was dismantled.  Words were like a bridge--paragraphs like long lost love letters recovered and read over and over as they would engage in little conversations here and there...told imaginary stories in the dark at bedtime...shared silly jokes...talked about things they saw.  I watched as a relationship was created, and those stones that once separated them, now closed them in together as a team; a pair who discovered they were more like one another than they knew.  They share something that is untouchable.  They needed each other to open BOTH of their eyes.

I am proud of my husband for being patient.  He has stood the test of time and the silence that once enveloped his relationship with Isaac...

But I can say with a full, deeply joyful and jealous heart, that Isaac is a Daddy's boy. And I'm just fine with that.

hand in hand

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