In the Eyes of My Child

I see so many moms out there just killin’ this motherhood thing. I have a cousin who makes beautiful costumes and dresses for her daughter. One of my old neighbors took up photography as a hobby and has her son’s life perfectly captured. My Facebook timeline is filled with lovely pictures of mothers enjoying their children. Vacations, family outings, sporting events — you name it — the wonderful mothers on my friends list do it and take lots of group selfies to document the occasions. I hate to admit it, but it kind of makes me feel like a bad mom. Not that we haven’t enjoyed vacations and outings, but there are times that I feel I have left my child out there, all alone with only his toys and games to keep him company, too often.

I have an awesome son. He’s wicked smart and funny. He doesn’t like sports — although he has recently taken up rock climbing. He likes having his picture taken even less — hence, the lack of photographs — but I respect his wishes and don’t push. He is fully aware that his mom has no chance of getting an award for being mom of the year, yet he still, somehow, sees me as such. My anxiety and depression become so bad, at times, that it’s hard for me to handle anything else — even the small things. I feel that my battles with mental illness cause me to fall short of what a great mom should be — or at least what I think a great mom should be. Energy becomes scarce, and I don’t want to interact with others outside of my family. Outings get canceled — fun things rejected. I become less a mother and more an obstruction.

My kid doesn’t see it that way though. He’s a teenager now, and he does have his brooding moments, yet he comes downstairs to give me hugs throughout the day for no reason at all. My diva den is his place to hang out for at least thirty minutes almost every night, so that we can chat about our day and life, in general. That’s not the actions of a child who’s been deprived of a good life. My pride and joy has become someone capable of not only coping with, but truly supporting a loved one who suffers from a mental illness. I couldn’t be prouder. I only wish that I could see myself through his eyes.

I love you, monkey!

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