My life revolved around Parker. Every decision I made, I did so while considering Parker. Throughout college. Throughout job changes. Throughout moving. Throughout a long term relationship and a break up. Throughout another relationship and ultimately marriage. Throughout the good times and bad times, it’s been him and me. We were each other’s constant.
I read multiple books about parenting. I always put him first. I believe it’s one of the reasons the one long term relationship I had before I met Kevin failed. Everything I had, I gave to Parker. I was responsible for his life, and I was determined to make it a good one!
When Parker was little, I would sing along with the radio and dance while holding him every morning. It was our morning ritual. When he got too big to hold, I’d grab his hands and dance while he stood there looking at me like I was crazy. I still sing to him. In the car, at home, it doesn’t matter. And I’m not a great singer by any means! He always smiles and shakes his head as if saying “here she goes again” and I smile in return.
We went to the local park or zoo every week. We took walks outside during the summer almost every day. He loved playing in the snow. I always had crafts and projects for him to do. He made his own Christmas cards for the family. He especially loved finger paints and Play-Doh. I always had his artwork hanging up, and I still have some filed away in a box. I watched super hero movies and cartoons with him. I played with cars and action figures with him. When he was older, we would go camping and hiking and take various trips.
We did those things together. Him and I.
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't a perfect mom and I made mistakes too.
But I believe those experiences are a huge reason why we are so close. He’s open with me and tells me some of his inner most thoughts, even some embarrassing ones. He comes to me when he needs help. We talk about current events. We have a mutual respect and trust for one another. When I was worried that he was holding things in when he was first diagnosed, I had him talk to the hospital psychologist. She asked him who he would be able to talk to if he had worries and concerns, fear or doubts. He told her, “My mom.” I was ecstatic about that response. He trusts me and knows he can talk to me. I think that’s every parent’s wish. To know my son feels comfortable and safe enough to come to me was confirmation that I have been doing a good job, and during a time when I was questioning if I had done everything I could, it was very much needed.
When the doctors would come in and give us the news about the scans, the biopsy, or any other results, Parker wouldn’t look at them. He watched me. I figured he was gauging my reaction, watching me to see if it was good news or bad news. I asked him why he watched me when they gave us the results, and he responded, “Because I want to make sure you don’t cry.” He was more concerned about me than himself! I quickly learned to “put on my armor” as I’ve heard other moms say. I don’t want him to worry about me when he has himself to focus on. That just shows his character though. He’s selfless and caring. So sweet and thoughtful. And I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Parker has always shared me with his brother, Chase. (I’ll tell you about him in my next post.) And now Parker shares me with Kevin and Kaitlyn, and he never doubts the magnitude of my love for him. But throughout all the changes and the people who have come in and out of our lives, we have always had each other since the day he was born. As Parker says, “It’s me and you, mom. Me and you.”