Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Once there, he remained joyful, playing with his sisters (unprecedented), telling them they should appreciate me too. "Girls, you need to tell mom how much you love her", as he came up behind me and wrapped me up in a big bear hug.
I was suspicious at first. Am I being prepped for some bad news or an expensive request? Nope. It was real. Complete and total appreciation of me. After what we've been through, the contrast is stark. He has not only dealt with his anger, he has surpassed all of my wildest dreams and begun to feel empathy, something I had never seen him do. The inability to empathize is a trademark characteristic of the narcissistic personality of his father. Yeah me! I'm on my way to raising a boy who will be kind, caring and most of all, happy. To say I feel like I have a new son doesn't even come close to describing the changes he has undergone.
It is remarkable, simply stunning.
Later, as the girls were getting ready for bed, I asked them to write a thank you note to their school counselor, who had bought them each a little bag of goodies for Christmas. I know I can spin and embellish, edit and clean-up words but this is word for word what came out of their 8 year old souls:
Twin #1 - Dear Mrs. -----, Thank you so much! I loved the gingerbread pal. I wish I had one billion more left! One more thank you for always being there for me and my sister. I use the crayons and activity book all the time. I hope u have a very fun 2011. With love. (Then she drew a picture of the counselor giving the gift bag to her).
Twin #2 - Dear Mrs.------, Thank you so, so, so much. I love all the gifts. I think it was really nice of you to think of me when I was sick (she was out that day with a stomach flu). If there is anything I can do in return, just call. Merry Christmas and happy new year!
And believe me when I say, if the school counselor ever needed something from either of these girls, all she would need to do is call.
My heart if filled with love and appreciation for these children and for the opportunity I have been given to change the course of their lives; to allow the true-self of an angry little boy to emerge and shine. Contrast the happy tears from earlier tonight with the tears from just over a month ago as I watched him cave into his rage and I worried I might have lost him forever. He once was lost, but now he is found. I'm dying to get to know him as he excitedly prepares for his first band concert, slowly opens up to his sisters and becomes all that he was meant to be.
Those things, you know the ones, that just keep happening for a reason, which seem really, really bad, like you're not sure you're going to survive them but then you do and you realize they were sent to you as a gift are truly amazing, aren't they? I know I am appreciating the hell out of them right about now. I am visualizing a shower of appreciation blanketing our little yellow cape cod with a light dusting of snow falling ever so softly just outside my window.