I'm a bad blogger. Let's not even go down The Road of talking about my shortcomings as Friend, Husband, Father, Companion, Entrepreneur, Artist, and on and on and on. I've been at the end of the line in every conceivable category in every conceivable way I can imagine, for a while now. I'm in one of those bad cycles.
If there is any silver lining at all, and you know me, glass half full (of something that TASTES LIKE DOOKY!!!) kinda guy I am, I loves me them silver liningses, then the silver lining here is that I am typing this. It's a start.
And a start, whether it be for long term or for short? It's something.
The other day...and it seems that I stand oft-accused, rightly or wrongly, of only sharing the murkier stuff when I blog, so here's a nugget that has more white meat than dark meat. Bennett is geared up, about to go to Jennifer's parents with her and Carter, and he is fully loaded except for no shoes. He is pacing the bedroom, anxious to get going, and I am trying to talk to him to pass the time.
This is how a lot of our conversations go, which aren't so much conversations as much as they are monologues with acknowledgement.
"You ready to go to MeeMee's house?"
"But you don't even have you're shoes and socks on, buddy!"
"You've got your hoodie on, very stylish, little man, but no socks and shoes!"
"Think you can put your socks on by yourself?"
Still pacing around the room, waiting for something to happen.
"C'mon litte man, grab your socks, lets get 'em on!"
"We need to get socks and shoes on your feet first right?"
I think he was needing a specific type of verbal command that I was failing to give him, or there is the fact that getting himself dressed, including putting on socks or shoes, is not something he can do yet without assistance. I was just chilling with him, not really thinking about it.
He continued to pace around the bed, wringing his hands together, grinding his teeth and looking around at nothing in particular.
"MeeMee House?" He inquired again.
"I don't know. Your feet are going to get really cold with no shoes don't you think?"
"Who is going to warm up your feet if you don't put shoes on?"
My head spun around so fast I almost tore a muscle in my neck. For a second, I almost thought someone was trying to play a trick on me. No one else was there. I was...stunned.
"What? Really? That's...amazing. I'm sure someone would warm your feet buddy."
I started putting on his socks and shoes and he was just smiling. It was a glorious moment and at the same time one of the most frustrating of my life. What does it mean? How do I reach that again? How does one recreate those variables to possibly figure out why he communicated like that? Or was it communication at all? I wanted to laugh, hug him, cry, scream and slam my head into a wall.
Instead I put on his shoes, gave him a kiss and he said "Bye, Daddy." He was off to his grandparents.
As I watched him leave I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I stood in the doorway, wondering where along the way I had lost the ability to appreciate a moment like that, rather than dissect the living hell out of it because of how badly I had come to believe I've failed him in his development.
After five years and some change, I still have a long way to go. BUT...silver lining...there is a complexity to his thinking. a sophistication to how he wants to express himself, I see more and more of it all the time. It is WHY he reacts aggressively, it is WHY things can be so hard sometimes. All I want to do is find the fuel and the will to focus in on the good stuff, and be a better teacher, a better father, a better friend, to him, than I have been of late.
And so I will.