Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Search Begins
As my second pregnancy began, I spent many hours caring for 2 of my nephews. They were energetic, to say the least. I spent so much time with them, that I began to panic that I would have a son - a possibility that had previously been delightful. The thought of a boy, something so foreign growing inside of me sent shivers of wonder and fear down my spine. I spent hours fretting over my ability to care for a boy child, thinking the entire time there surely must be something wrong with me.
At some point in these 9 months (which are really 10, but whatever), weaselmomma reassured me that boys, while being vastly different, filled a mother's heart in a completely different way than girls. While eying her suspiciously, I nodded my understanding, was sure I would be the worst mother imaginable to a boy, and began fervently praying for a girl. Of course, as evidenced by my middle child, I have a son. And I have spent innumerable hours wondering if I am good enough.
See, in the irony of the universe, I did not have a normal son, or even the kinetic ball of energy I was dreading. I have Boy. From birth, he craved movement. Rocking and rolling at all hours of the day and night. As an infant I watched as his eyes grew puffy and his nose ran, insisting to the chicagoland doctor that he had allergies - which she poo-poo'd. Only to bring said infant to the ER unable to breathe 3 days later. As he suffered (w/our trusted sunnyland dr.) through illness after illness, nebulizers, CT scans, and 2 surgeries before the age of 3, Hubby and I watched, cared for, and prayed. But, even through all of this, he has always been happy.
So, when daycare and pre-k gave way to kindergarten, it was with alarm that I watched my joyful son turn into a melancholy, moody child. At his worst, he would lock himself in the pantry and cry out that he wished he would die. More often than not he would withdraw into himself and hide under the covers, the bed, or behind the cushions on the couch. How could this delightful child morph into this depressed boy? It must be my fault. I had surely done something wrong - he heard me in the womb and knew I wasn't good enough. Sounds crazy, I know, but tell that to yourself at 2 in the morning when the monsters are scratching at the spaces in your mind.
I had long since come to see the wisdom of weaselmomma's words, having at this point experienced years of the bond she had described between mother and son. I was determined to treat this as we had all of Boy's medical illnesses, when no one knew what the causes were, only that there was a cause. This proved to be the beginning of a new chapter in our relationship with Boy. The Questing Years.