Friday, May 27, 2011

An Amazing Decade

I can't believe the last time I had my own little itty bitty baby, to cradle in my arms, was ten years ago.  I am finding it really hard to grasp that a decade has gone by already.  Roan has turned 10 now and I'm finding myself longing for the little 6 month old version of him to return.  Because I've written a letter for Gage around his birthday I find it only fair to do the same for Roan.  I've not shown Gage his letter and at this point I don't plan to.  It is my hope that one day when they are older and feel so inclined to learn more about their mother that they'll be able to go through this blog and catch of glimpse of the person I am and was outside of just being their mom.  But for now, this letter is to Roan and what it has meant for me to be HIS mom. 

Dear Roanie:

Roanie.  Roan Balogne.  Roanie Balognie.  I can still call you all of those things because you're only 10.  Only 10.  Wow.  Ten.  Double digits.  I knew this day would come, I guess I just never expected it to feel like it's flown by.

Monday, May 21, 2001.  Victoria Day.  I worked until 5 p.m.  My last day prior to going off on maternity leave.  You were due on the 24th.  I still had a few days to prepare.  I was wrong.  You came early.  I remember everything to do with actually having you that night.  I know 'they' say the second childbirth is always easier than the first and of course I was skeptical, but they were right.  You were so much easier coming into this world than your brother.  For me anyway.  I remember thinking how appropriate it was that you were 7 lbs, 11 oz.  since a regular hangout in your dad's and my teen years was 7-11.   But what I remember most of all was looking into your brilliant face and meeting you for the very first time.  I remember being afraid that I wasn't going to be able to love you like I loved Gage and being so glad that I was SO wrong.  I felt an instant bond to you.  I was immediately in love. 

I remember the days to follow when I would feed you and just cry.  Cry from the obvious influx of hormones but cry because you were so amazingly beautiful and precious and small and mine.  Mine to protect and take care of.  That uncertainty and fear that I wouldn't be successful in ensuring you remained safe in life.  I'm sure every parent feels it at some point.  I could sit and stare at you for hours on end.  We spent many early morning hours alone together in a quiet house while everyone else slept.  Just you and me, keeping each other company.  You were the cutest baby I had ever laid eyes on. 

You were a cuddly baby, unlike your brother.  How I loved the feeling when you would nuzzle your face into my neck.   Everything about you...  You fit perfectly into my arms like they were made for you and you were made for me.  When you started to smile, it was the best smile in the world.  It was an untainted smile.  And man, your belly laughs would melt my heart.  They still do.  I loved how much you loved your brother and how he could make you laugh when no one else could.  I loved hearing you call for me even if it was in the middle of the night.  The sound of the word "mom" in your little voice was music to my ears.  I miss your little pitter patter and watching you toddle around the house.

You are my sensitive child.  The one who wears his heart on his sleeve.  The one who shows his love no matter what.  The one who only sees the good in me, in all of your family (expect for Gage).  You are one person who's love I will never question.  You tell me and show me all the time.  I hope I do you the same justice.  Your sensitivity is what frightens me though.  I worry that I'll be unable to protect you from the disappointments in life. 
You are my child that will face uphill battles with a disorder you never deserved to inherit.   I will fight everyone and everything each step of the way to ensure your life is made as simple as possible so you have just as many opportunities as the rest of the world.  I don't want you to have to struggle through things the way your father had to growing up.  There are means and solutions we can take advantage of to better your way of life and as your mother and protector I will ensure you have them.  No one will ever love another human being like a mother loves her child.  No man will ever understand the bond a mother shares with her child.  And no one without their own children will ever understand the burning need a mother has to protect her child at all costs.  Mothers sacrifice so many things in their own lives to ensure their children are happy and content and it's hard for us to cut the ties that bind.  I may be guilty of being too easy on you but you're mine and I have every right to be easy and no one will take that away from me.  And what I cherish the most about you right now in life, is that you still want to hug and kiss me goodnight.

I look to you and admire who you are already and you're only 10.  You are a  wonderful friend.  A friend to everyone, no matter what. You do not judge and you are not cruel.  You are helpful and kind.  You are a good kid.  There is nothing malicious about you. You don't do things just to hurt another person.   It bothers me though that because you are these ways you generally expect that others are as well and I know in life, that's going to come back to bite you from time to time.  You take people at face value and have a hard time seeing past their words to read their actual meanings. 

You are my imagination boy.  You are full of stories, and images, and dreams and hopes.  I love that most about you.  You still see the world through the eyes of a child though occasionally the 'real' world sneaks in once in a while.  You are inquisitive by nature.  You ask question after question until you can grasp the answer to the best of your ability.  There are many times when this can lead to frustration on both your part and for the person you are questioning, but I never want you to stop asking your questions.  For it is at that point that we'll have lost you.  The questions and always wanting to learn is who you are.  I am proud of your abilities to draw and I hope you never lose the desire to make art in whatever form you deem best.  I hope you continue to try to better yourself and don't get caught up on a negative self image.  You are already so good, it is obvious that you'll only get better with age and time. 

You may forget things from time to time and have to be reminded quite often to do things, but deep in your heart you are a good soul and that's all that's really truly important.  Your limitations can be frustrating, I won't lie, but I understand it's out of your control and I'm doing my best to remain level headed and understanding of your disorder.  I'm trying to teach other people in your life to do the same.  It's not as easy for them, like it is for me.  It all goes back to that comment above about the tie between a mother and child... But rest assured I will never allow someone to put you down or intentionally make you feel bad about yourself and what life has handed you.  I will not fully understand what you go through each day, but I will do my best to support you in every way possible while you go through it.

You are a good boy.  A great boy.  Aside from the odd struggle we have with your ADD, you are an easy boy.  You don't deliberately do things to get into trouble.  You want to do right by me at all times and make me smile and laugh.  You are always eager to please.  I don't ever want to see you berate yourself and critique yourself.  I want you to know how amazing you are, in all ways.  You're learning coping skills right now and provided you can get a grasp on what that entails, you are going to do so well in life. 

I am most proud of you.  I was so proud of you when Grandpa was sick in the hospital and I'm so proud of how you've dealt with his untimely death and how you've helped me work through my grief as well as stayed true to your own.  He was also so proud of you and loved you will every fibre of his being and I can only pray that you will never forget him.  I hope you grow up to be just like him.  You already have so much in common. 
So to my baby boy, these past 10 years have been wonderful with you in my life.  We've crossed a few struggles along the way and you've taught me to be a better more patient person and mother with each step.  You've taught me that the little things don't really matter and there isn't any use getting stressed or upset by them.  You've taught me how important it is to make time, find time to do the silly mundane things we, as adults, take for granted.  You've taught me to enjoy things that wouldn't normally peak my interest but just because you like them.  You make the time we spend together better. 

I hope in my heart that you continue on the path you are currently and you remain a good person, who loves everyone.  I hope you never lose your zest for knowledge or your desire to draw.  I hope the little things will always excite you.  And I hope you always see past people's faults and continue to love them with your whole heart despite our flaws.  I hope I never disappoint you and I want you to know I will always be with you.  I promise to cover your back, fight any battle along side you, wipe your tears, listen when you need to talk, look for the answers to your questions I don't know, kiss away your pain, hug you every day and make sure you always know how much I love you and adore you.  I can't wait for the next decade together. 

Love you so very much,

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