Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Falling in Love

A curious thing is happening between me and my son: we're getting to know each other in a completely new way, and I enjoy him like I never have before, and I literally feel like I'm falling in love with who he is. It's as though I couldn't see him clearly before; I only saw my fear that I might create an unhealthy dynamic like the one that I see between my mom and my brother, and I didn't really embrace William for who he is.

Now I seem to be waking up to the fact that I am not my mom and William is not my brother. We have a chance to create our own dynamic in this world, and inadvertently I was pulling away from him since the day he was born and causing a problem where one didn't need to be. I seemed to be better prepared to raise a daughter than a son, and when I faced my fears head on and really looked at what I was doing in the psychologist's office, a light went on somewhere for me and I knew I had to turn the ship around before it ran into shore and sank.

Every day I discover new things about William that I really didn't see before. He's so funny, and charming, and cuddly most of the time. He has a great imagination, and makes up all kinds of unusual games and activities for himself on a daily basis. He asks interesting questions, such as, "How do the words make sense to you in a book so you know how to read?" and calls out all of the house numbers when we walk anywhere in town.

The confidence he has developed in a mere month of preschool is astonishing to me, considering how terrified he was when he started. Now he gives me a hug and a wave, and he knows that I will come back for him, and he enjoys himself. I sit back and bask in the pride that this brings to me, because I addressed the problems I was creating for my son, accepted my responsibility for them, and tried out a new way of parenting. The proof that it's working is in my son, with every new day, and also in me, because I am not afraid to embrace him and love him fully now.

If something isn't working, there is usually a reason why, and if you can isolate the reason, you can fix the problem. I wish I hadn't waited four and a half years to figure this out, but with parenting, it's never too late to change what you are doing and see a positive result. I might have been literally blind in the way I was relating to William before; I had no concept that I was parenting him out of fear and panic.

Parenting blindly is a horrible feeling. I couldn't even love my son with the same reckless abandon I felt for my daughter, because fear was holding me back. I had to address my fear and recognize the simple truth that I am a different person from my mom, and have the opportunity to raise my son how I would like to raise him, only I had to make the unconscious conscious in order to do it. I'm so unbelievably glad we saw the psychologist to ease William's fears, because it ended up transforming me as his mother, which is really what he needed all along.


  1. So wonderful! Breakthroughs in parenting are so exhilarating, aren't they, because it all matters SO much but can be so hard to see clearly. Go you!!

  2. Thanks, my sweet friend. I've heard from a few people this morning that this post meant a lot to them as we all struggle to improve upon our past to become better parents.

    It is hard to face up to these things, but the breakthroughs are most definitely exhilarating, as you said. Go moms go - it's worth our own personal pain and fears to face these things and conquer their hold on us!

  3. I love stories like this - I live for them really!!

  4. What a beautiful and heartfelt story, Julianne.I enjoyed reading it.

  5. Thanks, ladies, for your encouragement. It means a lot to me.