It will be a year at the beginning of next week since my son's Mother died. He's aching particularly badly at the moment.
Last night he woke up at around 2am, crawled into my bed quielty, soon followed by our two cockerspaniels who normally go wherever he goes. It woke Chloe and myself up. She's so amazing about it thought... she cuddles him, she kisses his head and he falls alseep invariably wrapped in her arms. I mouth "sorry," over to her and she looks at me as if to say, "Don't apologise!"
I don't have to apologise. I know that. It's just a habit... I have no need to apologise to CHloe about my son, about his demands on my time or about anything else. She doesn't only accept it. She loves it.
At around 4am he woke up again. He was crying to the point that he actually couldn’t articulate what the problem was. He was clinging to me almost for dear life.
Chloe kissed his head, then she kissed me and said,
“I’m going to give you guys some time. I’ll make drinks.”
She left the room and went to the kitchen to get hot malt drinks all round while I talked to my boy.
“I want to see my Mum,” he eventually managed to get out. “Just for one minute.”
I don’t have to say anything when he says that. He knows I’m powerless, like everyone and everything else in the world, to make that happen. I just hold him.
He’s so grown up for his six tender years sometimes, my little man. But he’s still a baby, really... and a baby who has been through way too much. It’s agonising for me to see him suffer like that and to not be able to make it even the tiniest little bit better.
Thanks to a hot drink from Chloe and some cuddles, he eventually fell asleep again at around 5. I think I did too... at least for an hour or so. This morning he was understandably tired, still incredibly emotional and just generally “not with it.”
“I’ll take the day off,” Chloe offered. “I’ll ring up and see about getting it as a last minute annual holiday day... I don’t think you should send him to school.”
“It’s ok,” I told her, “I’ll cancel my meetings today. I’ll stay home.”
“If he’s ok staying with me, Adam, you go to the office. You’ve got a lot on.”
I went to sit beside him where he was eating his breakfast i his pyjamas looking a little lost.
“Want to stay home today?” I asked him.
“Yes.” He started crying again and hid his face in my T-shirt.
“Ok. Well Chloe says she will stay home with you if you want... so that I can go and take care of some meetings and things in the office. But if you prefer me to stay home too, I will do. What do you want buddy?”
“I’ll stay with Chloe. You can come home when you have finished all the meetings though, can’t you?”
“You bet. I’ll be home by 4!”
So as I made my way out of the door this morning, Chloe and my son were cuddled up under a duvet on the couch deciding how many DVDs they thought they could get through with a whole day. The dogs were at their feet and there was an air of calm...
I’ve spent much of the afternoon in and out of short meetings and now I’m waiting 40 minutes until my final meeting of the day... after which I will go home and see my girl, my baby and my crazy dogs.
It occurred to me that this is the first time since his mother died that my son has willingly spent any more than an hour or so with someone alone, with the exception of my Sister. He doesn’t like to spend too much time with his friend’s parents unless I am there. Whenever he’s with “Uncle Craigy,” (my best friend and cousin) he’s always with me too.
He’s taken to Chloe incredibly well... and she to him. In fact, they gang up on me over DVD choices. It’s quite intolerable ;-)) lol.
...I know that the next few days are going to be tough for him. He wants to do something special next Monday and he and I will do so. He wants to do something to remember her and I am actually encouraging it. I was questioning for the longest time whether I should feel bad that he’s focussing on dates (a habit I blame myself for subconsciously passing on to him). But I’m assured by the “professionals,” that it’s perfectly normal and in some ways healthy for him to elect a specific date to remember her.
The last year has just gone so quickly in some ways and has, in others, been the longest and most agonising I’ve experienced.
One year on, the smiles are lasting longer, the nights are seeming lighter and he’s really getting there. But I don’t expect it will be quick. He was a Mummy’s boy in a lot of ways and still remains so. I know, from experience, how much pain he is in. And even though he’s incredibly intelligent, no 6 year old can possess the emotional intelligence to deal with grief well. So it’s been tough for my little guy. But I’m so incredibly proud of the way he’s handling himself, opening up and talking about it but still making the best... He’s handling this situation better than I handled the death of my Mother when I was 24!
I’m so very proud of my little man. So, so proud.
And his Mother would be too.