In many ways, I'm a conventional mom. Q knows his manners, eats his veggies, takes a shower twice a week (if we're lucky), and goes to school on a regular basis. We've tried to implement chores, but I mostly forget or if I do remember I do it myself because it's easier. As he gets older, though, I see the value in teaching him the quality of responsibility, the importance of a job well done and a dollar earned - so I'm working on that.
In one way, I am not a conventional mom. Q still sleeps in my bed. There are three reasons for this.
- He sleeps with his dad, too. Every time I try to wean Q out of my bed, his father does not follow suit, so I relent. If it's not consistent, it is fighting a losing battle. I end up with too little sleep and then I'm ugly and grumpy. Not a good combination. Coincidentally, him sleeping with me in the beginning started as a way to get more sleep. He slept longer with me beside him.
- As an only child from two separate households, Q has some unique challenges that other children with siblings or with parents who are together do not have. He gets separation anxiety. If sleeping with me gives him a little extra confidence to get through his day, I see nothing wrong with that at all.
- There is nothing more wonderful than feeling his little hand on my cheek as he falls asleep, hearing him breathe or talk in his sleep, and watching him sleep. It is something I cherish. It gives us extra time together where there is no "eat your dinner" or "do your homework" or "hurry up" or "slow down". There is just us.
We often have our best talks just before he is going to bed. I don't know if Q is like other children and I haven't given kids enough credit for their depth of understanding or if he is incredibly wise beyond his years. Sometimes his insight is so wise it amazes me. I think he is destined for great things, my little man - just because his compassion and his understanding is so great.
One such occasion was the night before Grade 3....
Q: Daddy says grade three was his worst year ever.
Me: That's because grade three is the year his mommy died.
Q: Oh. I didn't know that. I just knew she was 42, but I didn't know he was only 8. What happened to daddy?
Me: His daddy moved to Libya to work, so daddy went to boarding school with Uncle Duck (or Doug as everyone else calls him).
Q: What's a boarding school?
Me: It's when you live and go to school and eat and play all in the same place.
Q: I'm understanding some things more now.
Me: Like what?
Q: Daddy was offered a job in Dallas a while ago, and he didn't take it.
Me: Do you know why he didn't take it?
Q: Yes, because of me.
Me: Yup. Because he loved you more.
Geez...for all the times I wish I was flexible enough to kick my ex in the face, I lied there thankful for knowing that my Q knows his daddy loves him. He knows that his daddy wants something better for him than he had as a boy.
I wonder how many children notice or appreciate what their parents sacrifice for them. Anyone of us parents can name several things we've sacrificed in the name of our dear children, but how many of them know it? How many know but don't appreciate it? How many have to be told to be grateful? And yet here is my little 8 year old boy not just knowing, but reveling in the knowledge? It makes me want to cry just thinking of it. I know it's something he'll carry within him well into his adulthood.
We're seriously going to save on therapy bills for this one.