What I Like About You

My relationship with Alden has been really suffering lately. I think that may have come across a bit in yesterday’s post. If I’m being brutally honest, I will admit that, even though I love my son with every fiber of my being, I find that there are only fleeting moments lately when I can enjoy him. When a person requires so much constant effort just to keep them safe and happy, it can be hard to ever relax enough to find enjoyment. Alden is destructive. He doesn’t mean to be, but he is. And that makes relaxing and having fun with him a challenge.

I have decided that I need to try and focus more on the things I do love and enjoy about Alden, rather than dwelling constantly on all the challenges that come along with him. I don’t want the more difficult aspects of his Autism to rob me of my experience of him. To go along with this, I have the four year old photos I was finally able to take of him once the weather got nice enough (and we managed to find a coinciding day when nobody was sick so we could get out of the house).

So here is is: Things I Love About Alden:

Number One: Alden is the sweetest boy ever. Everyone says it. He is abundantly affectionate. He always wants to please others and tries to find ways to help. Alden is an empath, for sure, and he shows it every day. He loves with his whole heart and body and being.

Number two: Alden is forgiving. This goes along with his sweet nature. He doesn’t hold a grudge. He is never vindictive or vengeful. When I have been irrationally short-tempered or impatient with him, I apologize and he is always so quick to wrap his arms around my neck and tell me he loves me. I don’t always deserve how loving he is, but I am so thankful for it.

Number three: I love the way that, when I kiss Alden on the cheek or the forehead, he claps his hand on top of the spot I kissed and says, “Stamp!” He’s is stamping on my kiss to keep it there. I don’t know where he got this idea, I think it’s all him, and I hope he never stops doing it.

Number four: Alden gives the best hugs. Truly deep, loving, cling to you, full-body hugs. He is so snuggly and I wish I could just sit and hold him for the longest time. I try to never let go before he does, unless I absolutely have to.

Number five: Alden is smart. Very smart. He has an incredible memory (the other day he was telling me about the swing in our backyard in Seattle, and how it broke one day when he was in it. He was two when that happened, and I had forgotten all about it). His creative problem solving is impressive, and I think he’s going to be a whiz at math. Possibly an advanced reader like Zoey, too.

Number six: He’s mine. All the parents, in all the world, and I’m the one who gets to be Alden’s mom. Me. I am so incredibly lucky that this sweet, loving, gentle soul chose me. Maybe he knew he was going to need some extra loving, some extra patience, and he looked around and he thought, “That woman there. She looks like just the Mom I need.” And he chose me. I’m trying so hard to be the mom he needs. I’m not perfect at it. Some days I’m not even sure I’m good at it. But I’m trying. And I love him. I love him so much, and I tell him every day.

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