He was two, his vocabulary off the charts. A beautiful little child, expressive with a smile that sparked her mama’s heart, yet in the same breath, an unexplainable sadness about him. The frustrations were more frequent and the ability to comfort and soothe him were becoming increasingly difficult. At times he was inconsolable.
He was the middle child with a brother on either side. While the games they played were rough and tumble, he never much enjoyed them. As he grew, so did his sensitivity level. Mama became increasingly concerned. She began to wonder if her sweet little one needed therapy, for a toddler, a preschooler and eventually an adolescent? She was tormented and torn by his unexplainable agony, but this paled in comparison to what her child was dealing with, severe emotional pain, trauma, inner turmoil and self abuse with increasing suicidal tendencies.
She blamed the father of their three children. After all, he was the more broken one, the one who drank too much and often didn’t come home. Of course this child felt the tension and abandonment repeatedly. She missed the clues, they were so blatant, but only in retrospect.
Guilt washed over her, protect her babies from suffering was her obsession. Her focus had become tunneled, her energy consumed by what he was and was not doing for her, for them. Divorce became inevitable and so it came.
These three were the center of mama’s universe. Her sole purpose for being and now, she was all they had. With two tweens and a teen, they embarked with a fresh start, but it was becoming increasingly more challenging.
They were finding their footing, though mama was very strict, she was highly encouraging and supportive of their individuality. This same child seemed more devastated with every passing year, constantly testing her patience, he was heightened by his emotions, defiant yet fragile, sensitive and loving, with such rage and anger. He had become hell bent on breaking out and fighting for independence. Life was hard at times, but they were a team, the four of them. They always found their way, together.
Mama taught them about choices, they were theirs to make, but to know, the consequences also belonged to them, regardless, so try to choose wisely.
Her then 16 year old came home one day, his girlfriend beside him to announce they were having a baby. Six weeks after they graduated high school, a beautiful baby girl blessed all our lives, drawing them even closer as a family. This precious little girl was the joy that his mama thought was beginning to ground him, bring him a new purpose and a reason for living a wonderful life. Though it made a new set of challenges and difficulties, he took his role as a daddy very seriously and still does.
By age 27, this amazing person found a new sense of courage. A brave stand that would allow him the freedom to get very real and honest with himself after a lifetime of denying his true identity. The words he braced mama for, the ones that took four hours that night to find the courage to speak, four hours and nearly 27 years. With tears of relief streaming down his eyes, he blurted them out, “Mom, I’m a woman.”
And her mama sat there just listening to the words as they washed over her. A smile emerged from her lips, while a single tear rolled down her cheek and a sigh of relief escaped her breath. In that moment, “I love you sweetie” was all her child needed to hear as she herself melted for the acceptance from the woman who raised her…