Running a half marathon gives you lots of time to think. While I was in the woods yesterday for my first (and last) half marathon, my mind wandered from thought to thought trying to think about anything except running and the pain in my legs. I put focus on the feet of the person in front of me and put my body on automatic. I thought about my friends, family, work, hopes, plans and my young son waiting for me at the finish line.
I learned early in life that doing things solely based on the expectations of others is dangerous. If I had ignored my own voice, I would never dared to do anything that scared me. I would never moved overseas, climbed a mountain, run a race, jumped out of a plane, adopted a child on my own, etc. These are dangerous things, but the exhilaration you feel once you face your fears is life changing. These experiences taught me volumes about myself. I am stronger than I ever imagined. Besides life is too fleeting not to take chances and experience something that scares you.
So there I was running through the woods yesterday thinking about how I can't wait for my son to learn this lesson. I hope to encourage him to challenge himself and do something outside of his comfort zone. That thought was both exciting and scary. As a mom, I will soon have to face those events in my son's life that scares ME to death. Someone's going to break his heart. He could do something that would cause him physical harm. Life is not always going to be fair to him and there is nothing I can do to keep it from happening.
Doing something scary is about to turn a whole new corner for me.
My son says, " I want to tell you something." I stop. Give him my full attention and wait to hear the news he has to say. Sometimes it's just him repeating what he just said. Sometimes he wants to share something that he just figured out. Other times, he asks a question.
Today as I cleaned the house, my son followed me through every room asking why I was doing everything that I did. So I am cleaning and narrating at the same time. The clock is against me since I need to have him in bed for a nap and showered within the hour. My kitchen floor needed to be mopped so he sat at our kitchen table and watched. Then, he said, "Mommy I want to tell you something. Why do we have Rufus and Ollie?" (That's the name of our cats.)
Let me confess something. My son and I have not had the adoption talk yet. He is only 2 years old but I don't want to put this off much longer. I have been waiting for the right moment. It needs to be a natural part of our conversation. So, when he asked me this question, I thought, here is my chance.
As I was mopping, I told him the story of meeting Rufus and Ollie and how I realized that they were mine to love and nurture. I just looked at them and knew that I was their Mom. "Same way with you, Jules. When I met you at the hospital and you looked up at me, I realized that we have always known each other in some way and that I wanted to love you and be your mother. You looked at me too that day and we realized that we were meant to be together."
It was not in depth mainly because he is a toddler. We chatted a bit more about it. Tonight at dinner, he wanted to see the photos of us meeting at the hospital. He saw the photo I took of him when he was one day old looking at me in the face.
It's time to work in some toddler books on adoption. There are plenty of them out there.