Passionate, sensitive, strong-willed, and assertive. These are excellent qualities I'd look for in a friend, the kind of qualities that make beautiful people. The kind of qualities that make wonderful things happen. Creative, imaginative, loving, and concerned for others. Clever, spontaneous, energetic and smiling.
These are the many qualities I find in my three year old, as he's becoming the little person that he is. I am proud of him and I love him so much. He is my little friend.
Zadok has always needed me close by. Ever since he was a baby he didn't ever want to be put down. He never wanted to let go, even after his tummy was full. He never wanted anyone else to hold him. He never wandered more than 10 feet away from his safety net, his lifeline, his mother. He finds comfort in knowing I am always here, always listening, always answering questions, and always available for games and fun.
It hasn't always been easy for me. He never was one for self-entertaining.
You know those kids that walk into a room full of kids and toys and have a field day? Not my Zadok. My Zadok clings to me for dear life, needing time to adjust, time to acclimate, time to warm up to this new room. This new person. This new stimulating experience.
It hasn't always been easy for me. There are times when I've fought against him. Just wanting a second alone to sit quietly, or be able to go to a friends house and not stand outside convincing him it's okay to go in. Or to just be able to attend an LLL meeting without sitting in the corner entertaining him the whole time. (Meanwhile, all the other kids are happily playing with toys) Or to be able to attend my Sunday classes, without warming him up to nursery, for the last 2 years! I wanted this kid who was....more like me. Easy going, comfortable, adjustable, flexible. Not this kid who was always attached.
Six months ago I toyed with the idea of sending him to a daycare two times a week, to give me some room to breathe. When I picked him up from his first day there, I held him in the car and cried and cried. I told him we were done with that daycare. I missed him so much, and it was so hard to be away from him. I realized from that experience, that I was just as attached, all along.
Zadok trusts us with his feelings. Sometimes I don't understand his feelings. Sometimes his feelings frustrate me, make me angry, make me impatient. But Micah always reminds me that I don't need to understand his feelings, I just need to let him feel them. Zadok is secure. He knows his feelings are safe with us, and that makes me happy.
There are days when I could be more sensitive than I am to his needs. There are days when I wish he was more sensitive to mine. But as his mother, I have been able to recognize the value in not pushing him away, in making him feel safe, no matter how draining or hard it is on me.
I think it would be really hard to be passionate, sensitive, strong-willed, assertive, creative, imaginative, loving, clever, spontaneous, energetic, smiling, and concerned for others, if you had to worry about your needs being met all the time.
Someday he will leave my side and go off into the world with all these wonderful qualities. But for now, he is my little attachment, and I'm getting pleasantly used to that.
All photo credits got to Sarah, who captured the many emotions of zadok so wonderfully)