Yup, I’m smitten. Look at my face, this guy completely melts me.. Well, there’s two of them actually….
…. yeah, I’m in for it. But that little one. The Dude, he really knows how to get me these days.
August 7th was my big official diagnosis of the big “B.C.”, Breast Cancer. We explained it well to the kids. We told them how everyone’s story was different, like snowflakes. We talked about how we’d take everything one step at a time and walk with God as He opened the doors He wanted to be opened and so far, He was opening some pretty cool doors for us. The kids were with us. The Dude, with his big hazel-green puppy dog eyes, was with me. All until he raised his hand and asked the dreaded question, “Mommy, will you lose your hair?” (Gulp. Double gulp. Deep breath. Come on Holy Spirit, give me a hand on this one! I need you now!)
Looking around the room, all of their big eyes (Until this moment, I always knew my kids had some big eyes, but today, wow.. they were whoppers!) were all on me, not even blinking waiting for my answer like their life depended on it. “Yes. Yes, Guys, I’m going to lose my hair. All of it. But, I will always always still be the same Mommy.” That’s when they hit the floor. Bawling crying! But ya know who cried the most, the Dude. My one and only son. We quickly pulled up the website to my friend, Angelle’s, ChemoBeanies site and showed them how beautiful she was before and after with her gorgeous locks and all the amazing beanies I can start new fashion trends with. That sent the girls off shopping online and redirected them quickly. It held off my son for a bit, but now, when people ask me, “How are your kids doing with everything?” I don’t know if he has ever really overcome it, the whole hair thing, that is.
He seemed to be okay that day. He found some peace in looking at the website with everyone. He had fun with my many haircuts and mohawk rocker-do for a bit during our dance parties, etc. We made the most of it and he was right there with me rockin out his own moves like it was his job! He’s got the moves like Jagger! He has been doing phenomenal in school, has had playdates, making friends, and let me tell ya the ladies are lovin him this year! To quote my little man, “Chicks dig me, Mom.” Whew! Not so sure I’m ready for that? In fact, he’s so “cool” that he refused a kiss and hug from me when I was actually well enough to go to a b-day lunch at school last month!!! He’s 6!!!! That’s grounds for a Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, “Really??”
Big Deal, right? What does lack of public affection and first grade girlfriends have to do with the grand scheme of me and my little man’s well being in the midst of our current chaos? Well, to me, lately, in my roller coaster of emotions…. EVERYTHING! Like a typical woman, I had found myself hanging the hook of my needy little desire to feel attractive even in the eyes of my littlest crush, a tiny little first grade stud of a guy, my only son. Talk about “Mommy Dearest“, right? I’m such a freak! Poor kid. Sheesh. (Hanging my head in shame)
My daughters come home bursting at the seams, totally devouring up the whole “true beauty” thing”, practically knocking me over with their book bags to hug me and tell me how beautiful they think I am! They are amazing. While my son is the last one in each day, dragging his backpack on the ground; complaining about a piece of candy that he lost; how much homework he has to do; or who said what to him on the playground that day as he walks. right. past. me. Who is this kid and what did he do with my Dude? Where’s the kid that loves me to the moon and back and blows me kisses every night? Sigh….
Then it hit me. Maybe it’s not just that he’s 6. I mean, he is. But, he’s also a super intelligent, highly creative, very, very, very, deep thinker. In other words, something’s brewing in that mind of his. To quote ol’ “Bev” from “The Goldbergs“, “There’s a storm brewin in ya, and I’m not leaving til it passes!…. Somebody needs a sugar shower!!!” No worries, I held back, my urge to go total “Bev” on him and smother him with embarrassing raspberries and kisses. I played it cool and…
barehugged and squeezed him till he peed in his pants let it all pan out his way, in his timing. But it was haaaaarrrrrrdddd!!! (insert kicking and whining on the floor)
I literally prayed all weekend for patience, and for the intercessions of St.Jude, patron saint of impossible cases, as well as St.Monica who prayed and prayed AND PRAYED SOME MORE for her son St.Augustine when he was not in the best of ways. Not that my 6 year old son was in such dire straights, but I needed a momma to talk to and St.Monica was listening. I just needed him to come to me on his terms, when he was ready. I knew that he was struggling with me and my bald head. Rockin’ a multicolored mohawk was cool and all, but going skinhead was a whole different ball of wax. So, when I was not feeling well yesterday, and we all sat around watching the Saints game (WHO DAT! Geaux Saints!!), I couldn’t take the beanie on my head any longer. My stomach hurt, my head hurt, my skin hurt. I ached all over. So I curled up in a ball on the lazy boy chair, still wanting to be with my family, in my black and gold attire, but bald as a baby and sound asleep through the whole stinkin game. What a fan, huh?
That’s when the real magic of the saints happened. And I’m not talking about those on the field. I mean those interceding for me up above. While I was sleeping, I kept feeling a little hand reach from behind my chair and gently touch my bald, fuzzy head. I’d peek out but they were gone. Back to sleep. Then again, this time, it was more of a gentle rub from side to side, still the owner of the hand was reaching, to be unseen, from behind my chair, ducking back behind after each touch. I’d peek again, but nope, all gone! Again, the little footsteps had run away. This would be a common thing for the girls to do, but their voices could be heard upstairs, playing legos together, uninterested in the game, in full girl mode in their room. This had to be the Dude! Finally, one more touch with both hands that ended with… a kiss! I kept my eyes closed this time, trying to hide my smile and the tear that was trying to burst from my eyelid. Thankfully, I held it together long enough for him to sneak up and over the arm rest and under my blanket, wrapping his arms around me. And just like that, with a kiss on my cheek, he snuggled in with me to whisper to who he thought was a sleeping mommy, “Mommy, I love you and you’re the prettiest girl in the whole wide world.”
That’s all I needed. That’s all I ever needed. To be loved for who I am. For my true beauty inside. It really is what’s inside that counts and he saw it. Even if it is my little 6 year old son. Especially because it’s him. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. He didn’t have to. And I kept reminding myself that he didn’t need to. I can’t hang my expectations and emotions on my children. None of us can. But when God gives us those sweet little gifts of healing, for us this time, it was for both him and for me… it was sweet sweet rain. That’s the only way I can explain it.
It was just like sweet sweet rain.
And, guess what? He crawled back in my bed at 5am today to say it all over again, and I didn’t mind a bit!
So how’s my son doing? He’s doing just fine, I think. And, by the way, so am I. So am I.