Sometimes when I post, it is because I have been pondering and thinking for a long time about a topic. Other times, it is because I have been full of emotion and just need an outlet. And still other times it is because I have had a variety of random thoughts in my mind and just need to get them on paper.
Today was Rosh Hashannah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, and so for tonight, I will post my thoughts as we end one Jewish year and begin another.
Thoughts on Matthew:
This is the beginning of an important Jewish year. A little over a year from now, September 20, 2014, my son will become a Bar Mitzvah. As we go through this year, he will learn something about leading the service for his Bar Mitzvah. He is the most musical person I know, but I still have no idea what his Bar Mitzvah will look like. Will he chant Torah? Will he sing a prayer or two? Is there a way we can highlight the Beth Emeth band and allow him to show off his drumming skills as part of the service? Lots of questions, not too many answers, however we belong to an amazingly supportive temple, and I am sure as we go through this process we will find answers together that will create a special day for Matthew.
For the last few months Matthew has been obsessed with hugs. Unfortunately, hugs for Matthew can make the person being hugged feel a little uncomfortable- this may be the hardest sentence I have ever written. For a while I thought it was just me. I am not the world's most huggy person, so the number of hugs he requests in a day was exhausting me. I have now heard from enough people that he is asking for too many hugs or that his hugs make them uncomfortable so I know it is not just me, however, each and every time it saddens me.
Every mom wants to hug their child. So when a hug or a sign of affection creates stress, that is a challenge. To tell your child that they have had enough hugs for the day, is an awkward and stressful comment. To have to tell your son to ask his grandparents before hugging them is in some ways unnatural. However, this falls into the category of "if I don't teach him who will" and so I fight each night through the awkward with the knowledge that I am responsible for ensuring his success in the big, real world.
Thoughts on David:
David has had a few huge successes recently:
1. He is telling Jacob when he is hungry! This is HUGE! Since he was a baby he never cried when he was hungry. He has never, ever asked for food or drinks. In the past few weeks David has started to act up when he is hungry but then when Jacob asks him what is wrong he will tell Jacob that he is hungry. He still will not readily tell me, but we are making progress. Recognizing hunger is the first step towards identifying emotion and meeting his own needs. My hope is that recognizing hunger will lead to him also recognizing when he needs to toilet.
2. David is expressing emotions much more clearly. I was supposed to go with David to drop off his school supplies on Wednesday. I met Jacob and his friend at Jacob's school to drop Jacob's supplies, and then i was supposed to meet the babysitter to get David and drop off his supplies. Unfortunately, I received a call that there was a problem and I had to go back to work. I raced back to work, and David went into melt down mode. The sitter did her very best to help him, she took him to school to drop off supplies, but nothing she did could calm him down. They went home and he tore apart his bedroom, and finally tired himself out, but still no one knew what was wrong with David.
When I got home, I spoke to him about his behavior, and reminded him that he needs to behave for babysitters. I asked him question on top of question to try to figure out what had gone wrong. I asked if he was worried that I was mad at him for tearing apart his room, I asked if he was sad about going to a new school, I asked questions and questions and questions. Finally after almost an hour of him just not himself, throwing things, and attention seeking, David's eyes filled with tears, and I realized I had one question that I had not yet asked.....I asked David if he was mad at me. I finally got a yes. He was mad at me. I didn't bring him to drop off his school supplies and he was mad and rightfully so.
I had "chosen" work, over David and David was pissed. All working parents know that it is a challenge to balance work and family. For a single mom, the challenge is just that much more intense. No matter what babysitter I send with the boys, there are tasks when the kids need me, and when I am not there, they are mad.
Today at Rosh Hashannah services my dad told me that I should have asked him to take David. Now that they live close, he would have been happy to help. Once again, David spoke up and was clear that in this situation even Papa wouldn't have helped. He wanted his mommy, and his mommy is now aware that there are times when I have to prioritize the boys, because these little moments are too important to miss. Work will always be there tomorrow!
Thoughts on Jacob:
Jacob is the toughest little mama's boy I know. He acts all tough and independent, but then can melt in 10 seconds. He sat through Rosh Hashannah services today because he was afraid to go to the babysitting room without me. He wouldn't go see the shofar be blown on the bimah because I wouldn't walk up with him. We were only 3 rows away and most other kids did not have parents with them, so I was trying to encourage Jacob to strive for independence....instead, he just stayed in his seat and watched the shofar from there. It is always a surprise to me when he goes from being so tough to so dependent on me but I know he will only be little for a little while longer, so I will take and appreciate his need for his mama!
Jacob has a way of seeing the world that constantly amazes me. He knows how to access both of his brothers like no one else. He sees them both so clearly that it is incredible. Today we were at a playground with friends and David had an pee accident. Jacob just matter of factly told his friend as they played on the swings that David isn't potty trained yet. Like it is nothing at all to have a 9.5 year old brother who still pees his pants. Jacob just accepts his brothers for who they are. When Matthew is happy, no one can make Matthew laugh like Jacob can. On the other hand, no one can fight with Matthew like Jacob does! However, the fact that they can go from laughing to fighting and then laugh again all over Jacob's antics and bonkers behavior is what is the energy behind our family.
Here is to the end of one Jewish year and the beginning of another! L'shana Tova- a happy new year to you!
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!