To My Strong-Willed And Sensitive Boy

By Ashley Patek

To My Strong-Willed And Sensitive Boy
My strong-willed and sensitive boy,
Laying here watching you sleep
Pieces of our day begin to chip away.
It was full of challenges.
Your emotions grew bigger than you, over and over again.
Coming up and out of your body
As constant force, yelling, and tears.
It was hard for you.
It felt hard for me, too.
Sometimes I lose sight of you
Under the meltdowns, aggression, and power battles.
Somehow I overlook your littleness
Because at times you seem so big.
Then you lay here,
Breathing softly.
And those limbs that were truculent today,
Rest easy as you snuggle your stuffies tonight.
It is here in these quiet spaces
That it floods me.
Your innocence.
Your goodness.
Your beauty.
Somewhere between the baby I once held
And a boy not fully grown.
A tug of war of needing me
And resisting me.
The moment is stripped down,
Us without the noise of the day.
As you mumble, “I love you mom”
Through your close-to-sleep whimpers'
I feel my fear drift away.
I know you will be okay, and we will get through this phase.
My not-enoughness momentarily quiets.
Just look at the miracle you are. How could I ever doubt you, or myself?
When I pause long enough to stop questioning,
And just take you in …
I see you, all your softness and edges,
And it restores me for whatever tomorrow brings.
Forever your teammate and biggest fan.
Sweet dreams, my boy. Sweet dreams.

•  •  •

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