February 10, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
Last night was something special.
See, Monday was not the best day for Bugaboo. In fact, it was awful. He came home from school and was calm and quiet but totally disengaged. Since then, that’s pretty much how it has been. Him, on the swing in the basement, hanging out by himself. Avoiding us. Needing to be by himself. In some respects, sometimes I need him to play on his own so I can attend to Bug Boy and his homework (another topic for another day. Read: NIGHTMARE).
Last night he was the same. Came home from school, did the bathroom and snack routine, went to his cave to play and hang out by himself. By now the routine is familiar though it DOES make me sad. We had dinner, bath, pjs, etc. Daddy went off to help Bug Boy with homework and computer stuff. Bugaboo cuddled under a blanket on the couch with some books, thumbing through, scanning pictures and words, ready to fall asleep at any moment. So I decided to try to seize my chance. I sat next to him. He snuggled closer. I put my arm around him. He snuggled into me with his head on my shoulder. That right there? WORTH GOLD, Y’ALL. My boy was allowing me to snuggle with him, to put my arms around him. It doesn’t happen very often.
But then magic happened. I picked up one of the books and began reading it. Got through all 25 pages. Then I picked up another. And then another. We read four books before he wiggled away and put the blankets over his head, trying to fall asleep. But he was engaged. He pointed to pictures when I asked him to find things (Find the fish! Where’s the dog? GOOD!) and took my finger to point to pictures when he wanted to know their names. My boy was SEEKING INTERACTION. He wanted to learn something. He was asking for words! He was asking for me to interact with him. It hasn’t happened like that in eight years. He is eight years old. In other words, this is the first time I was EVER able to read to him. Y’all. It was so amazing.
Can I just tell you? It rarely happens. We rarely get these moments. I know he wants it, he wants the attention, he just doesn’t always know how to ask for it. He doesn’t always calm down well enough to be able to seek the attention he craves. But we still try. And nine times out of ten? He runs off. He tells me, in his way, he tells me he just isn’t ready right at that moment. But that one time? The time we catch the right moment? It’s amazing. Pure happiness and joy. It cancels out all of the disappointment and all of the rough days, just with that one, cuddly, happy moment. It makes my heart so full.
And it gives me hope.