I love my boys, all of them, utterly unconditionally. Tonight we watched old home movies of Etienne learning to walk just before his first birthday, Indi hammering out tunes on a tiny keyboard at the age of three, and William swimming confidently in France, and rocking out to the Aquabats with his cousin several summers ago. Cuddling both Indi and Eti while Darrell held a tiny Phoenix, I watched and wept for the babies that they were, and despite living and breathing in every bit of their childhood, it was a stark reminder of how quickly that time flies. One of my babies is struggling at the moment, and I am loving him as best I can by allowing him to do what he needs to do. I have walls decked in memories of this wonderful boy, folders and folders of photographs of the wonderful times he has had in his childhood, and while he battles with his growing independence and his changing needs, I will remind myself he is still my baby, and that I must remain a constant. I will not shout. I will not make him feel guilty. I will not aggravate a situation by taking things personally. I will listen. I will let him go. I will stay calm. I will smile. I will not bear grudges. This does not work. He must feel safe in the knowledge that we are here for him.
My mum sent me an article and one of the nuggets of advice offered struck a chord with me.
‘When they’re hard to love, love them harder’.