Susan's Blog

Friday, February 16, 2007

Young Faithful

Nothing cures like time and love.
–Barbara Streisand

Parenting has so much to do with faith. And when I say “faith,” I am not actually talking about faith as in Religion. I am talking about the inner voice, the unprovable, the feeling you go with that you hope/wish is the truth. In Nat’s case, I wish I had found that sort of faith earlier, and believed what my gut was telling me. I even had dreamt about him in utero, and still I gave this no credence. In the dream he looked the way he did when he was four. He was standing in my sister’s childhood room and laughing. Laughing! How important a role his laughter has played in my life! This was my intuition, or Nat, or something, telling me loud and clear that everything would be alright. But I did not harken to it. At the time I remember thinking, “Oh, I guess that means that if I have a boy, it will be okay [having a boy rather than a girl].” That’s what my naive little self thought about; the gender! I want to hug that girl I was, and shake her at the same time and say, “Shtummy! Get with the program! Life has a big surprise in store for you and you’d better get some rest so you’ll be up for this!”

I have said before that my relationship with Nat often feels like a leap of faith. I believe more than can prove that he feels certain things. About me, about everything. I look, I observe, I have gotten to know; but mostly, I feel. Maybe I wish. But who can contest this? I know Nat better than most, I would say. I absorb him, I sit next to him, breathing him in, wondering how this is that same person who showed himself to me as an unborn baby. This is that same boy who seemed unknowable, yet whom I have always known so well. This is the boy who has always been a delight to be with because he is pure Id, he just is who he is, and if he smiles at you, it is nothing short of a gift. (These days he smiles the most when I pop in the Bellydance Superstars DVD and he gets to watch all those pretty girls on the stage!)

My faith in Benj has grown lately. I used to be so afraid for him. I worried that he would have trouble socially because his development was quirky for a while. I had a certain feeling of doom surrounding me when it came to Ben and his friends. But by third grade, he has figured it out. He has his own little posse of boys. He has absolute faith in his appeal; utter confidence. How did I, such an insecure person, manage to give him this? Or was he born this way? I found that today, as he ran across the back yard and up the hill to a friend’s house, on his own, for the first time, I was so proud of him and so relieved I could have cried.

People really do develop and change, for the better. With love, understanding, hard work, and time, so much can happen. Just have faith. That is so simple, yet so much.


Tabblo: Time and Love

4 comments

Raising a child has made me a much more spiritual person, in the sense of learning to trust my intuition, to trust the universe, etc.. What an incredible journey. What a gift.

If you’ve never read Martha Beck’s book, Expecting Adam, you should give it a read. It touches on a lot of this.

— added by ASDmomNC on Friday, February 16, 2007 at 4:47 pm

why was it the first time with Ben?
were you just worried about him running away, or did you mean because he just now has made those friendship bonds? I cant believe he is in third grade-he look so sweet and innocent.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, February 16, 2007 at 5:40 pm

I have read Martha’s book and I believe I even gushed about it in my blog a few months ago. It really changed some things about how I view life, in every sense of that word.

Anon: The first time, because our town is both urban and suburban, lots of cars everywhere, and Ben just seemed too young to go off by himself, but maybe that was irrational. He did just fine today! He’s back and playing on the computer, after an afternoon of sledding.

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, February 16, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Susan-
This is an awesome post. When you speak of the kind of relationship you and Nat have- Lets just say I understand. I understand so much that I could feel it inside my soul when you spoke of it- I know it, I live it.

Take it from another insecure being- I think that our insecurity and self destruct mode only displays in our nonmother realm. I am (like you said) most cofident that I know my kids (especially Sam) better than anyone else. This is a gift. A gift I feel that we use to our advantage and to better our children. You speak of some very important topics in this blogpost- ones that encompass dealing in with a child on the spectrum and dealing with other broad parenting issues that can be just as emotional.

— added by Kristen on Friday, February 16, 2007 at 9:20 pm

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