Could you answer that question? Could you respond without choking over the love you feel for your child, as you struggled to wrap your head around the question– and eek out the words, grasping for something that just doesn’t exist — words that could convey how much, yes, how marvelous and exquisite you are… and all you can come up with is, “YES! YES! YES! BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS!””” And knowing that even the words YES, repeated over 50 million times couldn’t contain the joy you feel over this child, or of the journey, the places his life has taken your heart — places you never dreamed you would go.
But that isn’t what he would need to hear. That’s just mom talk. It’s unsubstantiated — that’s just what all mom’s say. He wants facts.
How is it possible to answer that question?
Perhaps a more realistic question is, would your child dare to ask you that question? That question takes quite a bit of courage to ask. Instead, my kids are famous for trying to lasso me and tie me up with comments like, “Who’s your favorite.” They are convinced that I MUST have one hiding in that heart of mine somewhere — there must be one of us in there who can do no wrong, that will never be punished. I probably should remind them of the part of the story in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, when Huck Finn laughs at Tom Sawyer when he gets in trouble with Aunt Polly. But on the next page, Huck Finn is crying — NO ONE cares enough about him to discipline him.
Still, they try to trap me, when I’m unaware. “Just give it to your favorite one mom — which you know who it is, but you know you can’t tell us.”
Oh, but don’t you wish they would? Don’t you wish they had the courage to ask you “Did I Turn Out To Be The Son You Wanted When I Was Born? Did I Meet Your Expectations?”
Well, first, honey, there were no expectations… there was just this gaping void… this darkness, and just waiting on you, night after night, to come and fill it, and hoping you would like your nursery that I decorate for you, the words, “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon,” that I painted on the wall with stencils I made by-hand.
I would probably lose him at the “gaping void” because, I can remember when I was pregnant, that I ached like I had never ached before to KNOW this person. But, it wasn’t time yet, and I just sat there with this all of this emptiness, shocked that I would yearn this much, this deeply to know this child.
“Truly,” son, “I had no expectations of what you would be like, because I was still trying to wrap my head around how much I needed to meet you.” So, when you did show up, you showed me how marvelous you really are.
Sara Littman’s little 12-year-old boy, Joshua asked her those very words. He has more courage than most of us. Is it because he has Asperger’s syndrome? Watch Sara as she answers, perfectly, without missing a beat, without a single gulp, cutting through all the mommy sentimental words, and answering with the truth.