My Wish For My Son…

Over the last several months, our family has been increasingly taken over by our 4 year old.  He is demanding, defiant, strong willed and at times, disrespectful.  Those of you with a 4 year old at home will probably understand what I am referring to, at least on some level.  To some degree, all preschoolers cause their parents grief.  For the longest time, we wanted to believe it was a phase and felt confident he would grow out of it, although it seemed to be relentless.  As of lately, we have finally succumbed to the idea that these characteristic traits may just be a part of who he is and sadly, not something he would outgrow.  After numerous conversations with his pediatrician, we nervously followed protocol and set an appointment with an OT.  We are now in our 7th week of OT (Sensory Processing Disorder) and are undergoing evaluations to get answers on how to best help our son be and feel successful in his many environments.

 

Feeling the overwhelming anxiety of all of these evaluations and wondering what our future might hold, I have found myself thinking (and even sometimes saying out loud) that I wish things were different.  I wish Brecken would be better. I wish Brecken would hug and greet his friends and family. I wish Brecken wouldn’t put things in his mouth all the time (his fingers, his toys, his clothes, and more).  I wish Brecken would look people in the eye. I wish Brecken would respond when people ask him a question. I wish Brecken could play with his cousins in confidence, instead of being intimidated.  I wish Brecken could get through just one meal without a melt down. I wish Brecken would transition from point A to point B without such a struggle.  I wish Brecken didn’t cause us to walk on egg shells whenever he was near, certain that there would be a tantrum but uncertain what would cause it and to what severity to expect.

 

At some point, I’ve realized that all of these wishes for my child were simply me saying I wish my kid was different than his inner being. What kind of an awful mother does that??  This is the baby that my husband and I dreamed of.  The baby that we wished for and tried for and prayed for.  The baby that I laid on bed rest for for several months.  This is my son that was lucky enough to meet my mom before she passed, and thus, the only child of mine that will ever be able to have this incredible gift.  This is my beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed little boy and I, as his mother, spend more time wishing he would change than appreciating what he is.

 

Somewhere between a tantrum and a timeout, in the midst of reading my 200th parenting book, I realized it isn’t Brecken that needs to change, it is me.  I need to change the way I think. I need to change the way I love. I need to change the way I wish.

 

Instead of wishing Brecken isn’t shy, I will accept that he is slow to warm up and wish for him to find comfort in unfamiliar settings.

 

Instead of wishing that Brecken could tackle all situations with confidence and outgoing energy, I will wish for him to find joy in the things he is willing to try.

 

Instead of wishing Brecken could go into his Sunday school room and NOT go directly to the nearest wall and bury his head, I will wish that his signature move every Sunday leaves him feeling safe (and not in agony as it appears to his heartbroken mother) until he is ready to join the group.

 

Instead of wishing Brecken could behave differently, I will wish for strength in helping him gain strategies to handle certain situations.

 

I love my baby boy… And my wish for him is that he always knows how much his mommy loves him.

 

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6 Responses

  1. Lisa Ventura Olson says:

    Beautiful sentiment & well written April! He is such a cutie but why do secretly pinch him while he is trying to smile 🙂 LOL

  2. Sarah Hanneman says:

    Wow. You read my mind. Ethan turns four in April and we see similar things. Thanks for the reminder that I need to be the one to change because some of his behaviors I believe are here to stay. Hang in there!!

  3. Lori says:

    April you are a great mom!

    I have spent 21 years telling myself that everyday. I have 2 sons both with ADHD and my youngest also has extreme difficulty processing abstract concepts and dyslexia. Everything was a struggle for Mason. And the school system was my biggest and worst obstacle. Grade/middle and high school (considered one of the best districts in the country) did not matter!

    The fight and constant struggle was on me! Well here is what I learned……

    First, you are your sons only true hero/teacher and Ali! Find Breckens true strengths, no matter what they are and help him to be the best in those strengths! If it’s sports, music, art, games, find his passion and encourage and build on it! Mason was an athlete and that it we where he learned to shine and thrive. I met other kids that were incredible video gamers, painters, etc. just help him find his passion! It will help his confidence and will make you proud. He has skills, talents, passion or abilities that will land him a job one day! Not everyone is college bound or has to rely on school for their only path.

    Be ready to fight the system. If they tell you no, go around and find the yes. We pulled Mason out of school 2 hours a day in 2nd and 3rd grade to meet with private reading specialists so he could learn to read.

    Keep organized or simple systems and routines – boys with processing issues even ADHD need to learn these skills early. It will help them so much!

    Last, no matter how difficult the struggle, your son will grow up to be a wonderful, self reliant good person who had the best mom (parents) in the world. Think about all the crazy idiots in the world who don’t have the support system and loving parents Brecken had and they are adults not making their way- No matter what complications lie ahead your son will succeed and make you proud! It just won’t be the path you thought but it will be Brecken’s path ! He will make you proud and you will help him be the best person he can be.

    I promise and know this to be true! Raising children is a process and no matter who you talk with or what people say there is no perfect child, no right path, no one way to teach them all. You will be Brecken’s cheerleader, teacher, advocate, support system and family – he is the luckiest boy in the world and he will make you proud! The struggle will seem long and endless – but the truth is it will go so fast, you will blink and he will be all grown up. So enjoy the moments, help him find his passion whatever it is and believe and love him. He is going to be a wonderful man one day! I promise!

  4. Cameon says:

    Such a beautiful expression of such a real struggle. Making that personal, parental transformation is a lifelong journey – as the wishes keep changing. Adjusting your perspective in this way brings acceptance of your beautiful boy’s gifts, joy in the smallest of victories, and confidence to advocate for his needs and possibilities. Breckan’s so blessed to have you!!

  5. Carla Nelson says:

    April you are a wonderful mother. You do so much with your kids ; and all parents wish thatvthings could be easier for their children. We live in a broken world and we don’t want our children to be hurt by it, but no matter what we do they will be. As parent the best we can do is to help then believe in who they are, help them develope the skills they need to cope in the world we live in, and eventually send them on their way. It sounds like you are doing that. You are a good mom; just a little over whelmed- pray it was the only way I got through.

  6. April says:

    Thank you for all of the wonderful comments, ladies! I was blown away over the response of this blog post – One that I sat down and wrote in a matter of minutes, because it came so easily! I have received so many blog comments, Facebook comments, private messages and personal emails of others sharing their struggles and successes. Thanks to all for the love and support!

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