James: I love you.
My folks are in town. James and his adventures in ODD have been going well. The parent-child interaction therapy seem to be heading in the right direction.
With my parents in town, the master schedule was disrupted and James did not like the result. He wasn't terrible today, but today posed some new challenges. The day was long, the tantrums were mid-to-high-zone 1. I was tired of it. The Expert had worn. Why does James act this way...and...only for us?
At bedtime, Mia tucked him in. I poked my head into his room after I tucked Stella in. I looked at James. He looked at me. Mia went downstairs.
For the first time, during all of this recent difficulty, I felt an unavoidable sensitivity/softness towards James. Not that I have spent this time blaming him for the ODD. Not that I have been rude/cruel/mean to my toddler... but perhaps I have been a little stand-offish. But, really.... I have "love buddied" him to death, hugged the life out of him, but maybe it was more motion than truth.
Not that I haven't loved him. But maybe you understand.
I made eye-contact with that boy tonight, after Mia put him in the bed. I sneaked into his room, and I said, "Hey."
Ever since I've noticed a difficulty with James, I've been Aibeileen Clarking him to death with, "James is a smart boy. James is a kind boy." (from the book, the Help).
Tonight, I sneaked into his room. Touched his face, and told him, "You are my best boy."
He smiled at me, "Yes, I am you boy."
"I love you, buddy," I said, looking him straight in the face.
He smiled. He smiled. He smiled.
"I am. Your boy. Momma," he said.
My boy smiles alot. But sometimes, he doesn't smile on cue, or on feel, or at appropriate times. He smiles when he deeply feels it. That's James. He is dealing with some things, some ODD things. But today, I felt he loved me.
Today, I felt that he smiled because he wanted to....he smiled to let me in. That's something for which I can shed some tears.