I see you, Mama, with your precious boy with the long eyelashes and beautiful smile. He says “Hello” and “Yes Ma’am” and even says grace before his meals. He gives bear hugs and sweet kisses and tells you how much he loves you. He apologizes for keeping you up at night and fixes breakfast for you. He brings you a cold pack when you have a migraine. He has a HUGE heart full of love for others. And your love for him is so immense, you give all of yourself to ensure he is successful. He is work, and often that work is overlooked.
But I see you.
I see you blush and try not to cuss as you wrangle your preschooler out of church in the middle of a full-blown thrashing tantrum out of consideration for others worshipping, and you are back the next Sunday to try again. I see you intervene when his play gets too rough to preserve his friendship with his buddy. I hear you cry from exhaustion as he destroys his clock, curtains, and door because he doesn’t want to sleep, but it’s midnight and he is exhausted but just can’t make his body give in. I see a groggy-eyed Mama give comfort during night terror #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, but you never abandon him to his fears. I see you change sheets, pull ups, PJs, and wash your son because he has drenched his bed again, and it breaks your heart to hear him apologize for something he can’t control. I see you hovering at a birthday party because you know he may hurt someone when he is overstimulated, but you don’t turn down invitations out of fear. I see you sit with your head high as school administrators ask you to leave because they can no longer accommodate your child, and you return home to continue researching what would be the best possible placement for him. I see you smile while your heart takes hit after hit of people judging and offering unsolicited advice or critiquing your parenting when they could have chosen to kindly offer to help, you choose to maintain a peaceful environment and refrain from arguing. They have no clue.
Your brave self chooses every day to hope, to try, to love.
You research tirelessly hoping your child’s signs and symptoms will match someone else’s and maybe they will have the answers. You have plans A, B, C, all the way through H. You consult your pediatrician who is not a guarantee for support and may suggest a “wait and see” approach. But you are tired of waiting. You seek out specialists and pay out of pocket for evaluations and therapies because insurance thinks he’s normal. But you know. You can see a fever by looking in your child’s eyes. You can predict vomiting within a two-hour window. You can smell the difference between teething diarrhea and diarrhea caused by a virus. This kid was physically a part of you for 9 months — you know. You make unpopular decisions because they are what is best for your child. You coach him through difficult social situations. You fuel his body with healthy foods and reduce environmental toxins to give him the best chance of coping. You maintain a structured routine to help him feel secure in his environment in the face of people telling you to relax and let loose.
Oh how you would love to relax.
But you are his advocate. You are his caregiver. You are his teacher. You are his chef. You are his world. You are his Mama. And a mama cannot relax when her child is struggling.
Your hope in the face of adversity is inspiring.
I see you.