"Mommy, I have a tummy ache," Charlie whined at me. His large body is sat and slumped over the toilet, toes curled, arms curled around him.
"I'm sorry, bud. Maybe you have a bit of a stomach bug," I say reassuringly. I'm trying to sound sympathetic, but I'm concentrating on deciding if I want to try and salvage this pair or underpants.
"Yeah, mom, it's a fly."
Now I'm looking at him. "A fly? How'd he get in?" I ask.
"My mouth was open." He's looking at me as if I'm dumb, which I'm not, but he must think so at this time. He's using his hands. Not that my son is Italian, and yes, I just profiled, but my son talks with his hands all the time. I'm just saying. Mind you, he's still on the pot.
"Where is he?"
"Right here, "Charlie says as he points to his stomach. "He's going to come out tomorrow."
"For your birthday," I ask.
"Yep. Mom, mom, I'm going to be 5."
"Yes, buddy, I know." I take a quick breath. "Are you done, Charlie?"
This is Charlie. He's 51 pounds, 48 inches, 5 years old minus a day, and all mine. He's glorious.
Charlie, you make me learn more about myself ever day. Where I thought I was patient, I'm not. I said I'd never use the words, "Because I said so." I have. I do not have every answer, even though some people think I do when it comes to YOU. I am not the best at reading your mind. I don't know why you do everything you do.
Charlie when you shot out of me without one push, thank you for that by the way, you were ready to take on the world. Thank you for being so dramatic about it. Nothing like being wheeled down a hallway on a gurney, POP, there you are, and then the doctor walks in the room. You came into this world screaming. You've kind of never stopped since.
Open up the DSM-IV to ADHD, there you'll be. Your siren noises could win you an Oscar. Your mood swings are as if I am trying to climb into the car when Daddy drives and he keeps advancing a few feet ahead as I try to climb in. You love everything, then you hate me, or you hate the dog, or you hate your car because the doors don't open and you have to have a car with doors that open. You love waffles then you hate them. You're sleepy then you're not. You love Thomas, you love Cars, you love Animaniacs, and you love WHATEVER.
Charlie I can only imagine what goes on in your head on a daily basis. Can you feel those synapses firing back and forth? I'd love a brain scan one day. If you didn't make your noises, if you didn't wake up around 5 am, if you didn't tell me 'I'm sorry', I'd worry.
Charlie, I know all this is hard for you. A few months after your fourth birthday, you were diagnosed with high functioning autism and ADHD. I see very little autistic tendency in you, but I do see ADHD. Many people would think, "Oh, just another child with ADHD? Do you use meds?" Charlie, you are not just another child, you are my child. And no, we do not use meds. You are loving, you are literal, you are big and strong, and you are mine.
Charlie, you can be and do whatever you want to be and do. Mommy and Daddy are right behind you. We believe in you. We know you will kill it at kindergarten. The obstacles are there for you to overcome, not to stop you along the way. Mommy and Daddy will overcome with you. Mommy and Daddy will not always have an answer for you, you will keep testing us, we will become impatient, but you are still our boy.
You are still our little boy who loves trucks and cars, builds Legos, plays in the dirt, and wants PB and J but a whole sandwich, not cut. You twirl your hair in your forefingers and suck your teeth to show me you're tired. You ask for your pillow, your blanket, Youtube, and breakfast every morning. If I go take a shower before getting you up, I'll hear it from you. You like shorts, your heavy blanket, peanut butter, and edamame. You give the best hugs, have a tendency to lick my face, get scared at thunder, and always love my t-shirts. Charlie, you will be great at whatever you do. Put your best to anything, always thank Jesus for your blessings, be a good person, hold the door for ladies, mow the lawn, don't forget to write your name on the top of your papers at school. Family first, look both ways, say your prayers, and always love with your whole heart.
I love you,