I have a little redhead. He is three years old.
Pretty much everywhere he goes, he carries a little stuffed boxer named Butch... although he calls it Bitch, loudly and proudly.
Ah, the joy of a speech delay.
This bundle of joy is a bundle of energy too. He gives life all he has - heart and soul, mind and body. He commits himself %100 to everything. Loving, Eating, Playing, Sleeping.
Sometimes he commits himself %100 to a bad attitude. But that goes with being three.
Lately, since his daddy has been in Afghanistan, there have been more and more days when I have felt slightly overwhelmed with his intensity, especially when that intensity has been shared with a less then happy frame of mind.
His inability to speak clearly and thus TELL me what he is feeling certainly hasn't helped the situation any.
This evening he was home alone with my Mom and they were watching "Finding Nemo". At one very sad point in time in the movie after being separated for quite awhile, Nemo says, "I want my daddy". Mom said that Zion looked at her and clear as a bell repeated those words.
"I want my daddy".
When I got home later and she told me that story, I nearly lost it. My poor poor baby. He doesn't understand what is going on in his life, and he can't communicate well enough to tell me what he feels.
Of course after he said that my Mom told him that his daddy would be home as soon as he could, and that he was safe here at his Noni and Papaw's house... but she still sat with him and cried for awhile too. And I am so glad that she did.
Emotions are healthy. Children need to feel them, and recognize them, and see the adults in their life acknowledge them.
But oh, how I wish I could make all of their emotions happy.
I am going to try to remember to have a little more grace for him when he chooses to have an ugly attitude over the next few months.
I am going to try to give him as much one on one attention as I can. I can't replace Daddy, and I wouldn't even try, but I do need to try to fill that void with some extra special time.
Most of all, I am going to make sure that I let him know every single day that
His Daddy wants him too.