My Wonderful Son

When you noticed that the rear view mirror of my car was broken, you asked, kindly, \’Mama, can I fix it?\’ And when you noticed after a few weeks that the said mirror was fixed, albeit badly, you exclaimed triumphantly, \’Mama, I fixed it!\’  The world is that simple for you. There is no problem that is too big for you to handle. Life can be hard but you pay it no mind. We have shielded you from harm all your life so you are not afraid of anything. You walk up to strangers to greet them with energy that surprises them and if I let you, you would kiss stray dogs.

Three whole years on this earth, and you, my son, have made every day count. You make me ridiculously happy but you make me work for it. We have had a few challenging days over the last year, haven\’t we? There was that difficult night at the hospital where your grandmother cried to see you so small on the big grown-up bed but a mere 24-hours later, she was running after you as you took off on a run in the hospital corridor, your illness long behind you. You are strong, and your bubbling joy – laughter like sudden Kiremt rain – is larger than your tantrums.

This past year, you could have been the poster child for the term  \’the terrible twos\’. If you didn\’t get your way – socks on the muddy garden, TV before breakfast – the neighbors knew it. You hollered and cried until the adult gave in. As the primary audience of this journey of yours, I quickly learnt how to hug-melt away your stress. As you know, your mom believes that there is no parenting disaster that can\’t be fixed through serious hugging.

Not everyone has appreciated your energy over this last year. We have brought you into a judgmental world. The antics that have made me laugh the most – you jumping in the crib of a baby whose birthday party we went to celebrate, kicking off your bright red boots onto the head teacher\’s floor as we went in for your \’interview\’ for pre-school, jumping on stage behind my friend singing at a Setaweet event or your sister and you imitating the models on the catwalk at a fashion show – have given people an alarmed look at best. A few times, people who no longer remember the magic that is childhood have asked me, \’Min hono new?\’ While I know you are only being a nearly three-year-old with oversized emotions that you don\’t always have the words to express. My job is to protect you from unimaginative people who would label you. You do you, my love. You are a sensitive, brilliant little man and I won\’t have you put in a box.

Because what is not on the \’Rebash\’ label is your big, big heart. When you kiss my face, you kiss it all over. You feel my heart with a light, wonderful joy. If you see your sister crying, it\’s kick everyone around first, and ask questions later. One of the first phrases you learnt was, \’Rekka, you hurt?!\’ She lets you win and collect all the toys, and in return, she has you as her loyal foot-soldier. To the people who get to know you, you are protective and kind beyond measure.

You are already growing too fast. A quick year after your second birthday where you were barely speaking, your \’Mama, Don\’t Go\’ has already graduated to \’Tolo Michi.\’ You no longer wake up in the middle of the night to say, \’Mama, I missed you\’. You haven\’t called me \’Pinshesh\’ in a long, long time, or lifted up my arm to kiss the underside. You no longer insist on wearing your pajamas to school, and you only sometimes watch TV hanging upside down on the sofa.

So the terrible twos don\’t seem to have been so terrible after all. You, Leeben, have taught me unconditional love. Its easy to love the child that responds to structure, the child who is always sunny and who doesn\’t require his parents\’ heart to stretch to accommodate all-day tantrums or a five-day boycott of any footwear. You tested me this past year and helped me find, in the deepest parts of my heart, a patience that hasn\’t run out yet. I love you with everything I have. Because it is on the most challenging of our days, when you have hit and you wish you could take it back and your cheeks are flushed from crying, and when I whisper to your head sharing my pillow, \’Tomorrow will be better\’, that I know you are the child I have been blessed to raise into a man.

Your loving mother.