A blogger I've been following for a few years recently had a post in which she shared a "glimpse" of their life with their older daughter, who has RAD. She doesn't write about this often, and is mostly a photo blogger, but in the past when she's given little stories about her, well... I could relate. No, not to the same extent, as we really only had a taste of attachment disorder. And that taste was enough for me to feel such sympathy for this family and all they are going through, and will continue to go through.
And yet, when I was reading this latest little post... I couldn't help but realize that, for the first time, I did NOT relate. I could NOT relate to this. Because this isn't our family anymore.
Because my son is attached now.
I mean, yeah, he started to become attached pretty early. He gripped to us, his newest caregivers, for a long time while still not trusting us. And we've spent many hours, perhaps even hundreds by now, playing attachment games and having long talks and pressing our chests together to share love from our hearts and being careful not to phrase things certain ways and coming up with stories meant to work out past trauma and... well, you get the point. And when it list it all "hundreds of hours" actually seems like an estimate on the small side.
When reading this post, though, and thinking about my almost-six-year-old boy I realized something wonderful: we're done.
I mean, seriously, we still have long talks and we'll still keep an eye out for things that could trigger past trauma and such but...
Because, you see, P's heart is now... well, it's his namesake. Pax. Peace. Peaceful.
He still gets cranky when he's tired, but now he'll actually tell us he's tired and he's sleeping later and later because he's no longer worried that I've died at night. When did this happen? How did I not notice this?
And he's in control of his public persona. We went to a birthday party and he was right up there with the other kids being as well behaved as any other excited small child, nothing but happiness and smiles.
And he's a top student. And he's working hard. And he not only controls himself well in public, but actually corrects his own behavior when it goes badly. And he apologizes for things easily, gives love easily, accepts love easily, trusts, hopes, believes...
He's self confident, and on days he's sad he'll tell you the reason, even if he has to sit and think about it, and then he'll ask for whatever he thinks will make it better, because he trusts that we really do want to make it better.
When did this happen? What one, wonderful, magical day did this light turn on? When was the thick bridge connecting us finally finished?
Oh, sure, there are times he can still be a total bum. He IS an almost-six-year-old boy now, and if a forty year old man can get away with having grumpy days and feeling "off" then we should certainly expect it from a child. And when he's tired his SPD can come out, but for the first time in his life he's actually noticing when he's tired and asking for rest, a HUGE if not monumental development that my sleep deprived self has been hoping for for the past almost 4 years.
I'm in awe of this boy, this happy, intelligent, normal little boy. The little boy who is reading and writing and learning math and singing and dancing and drawing the most detailed and fun little pictures. The little boy who greats me with a sleepy hug every morning, who rushes up to me when school is over with wonderful tales of his day, who picks me flower after flower on the walk home "to make you happy mama!", who will give me attitude and yet still fall into a fit of giggles when I make light of the situation, who sets the table and puts up his laundry and feeds his fish every morning without being asked.
My sweet, sweet older son who blows me away every day.
Also? He's a total ham. :)
Lily in a loafing barn
4 months ago