by Cody J. Elms
He no longer has that baby face we’ve known since January of 2016. He’s wearing undies over diapers. He’s able to turn on the lights, brush his own teeth, and has started writing letters. “No, I do it,” has become a regular request, and typically results with him in fact doing it all by himself. It is time for me to just accept that as much fun as the first two years were, he is leaving the Terrific Two’s and is headed full steam into just being our crazy little kid.
This crazy little kid, who is roughly 80 percent potty-trained and very rarely gets sick, peed on me this past week. Then followed that up a couple days later by vomiting literally all over his mother. It is fun. No really, it is extremely fun. However, it wouldn’t be possible had differences, personal agendas, and emotions not be set aside.
There will always be things that happen in a parent’s life that will challenge them. Things will not go as planned, and often times they go so far off of script that some parents feel lost or misguided. One of the more prominent occurrences of this is when parents plan to have a child, but are simply unable to make the relationship work. Thankfully in modern times, the stigma of such situations has all but vanished, but that does not mean the difficulties aren’t there.
I am not a professional nor am I highly educated in this field, but I am experienced, and to me, given that everyone’s situation is different, despite what the individuals around them may tell them while they’re going through it, that sometimes carries a little more weight and logic than educated guesses.
The reason I feel that way is because there is one thing that will always remain the same, regardless of the people involved, the events of the past, or the highs and lows, and that is that your child or children will always need your love and support.
Following the birth of my son, and after a rocky and honestly uncomfortable beginning, we adapted to the situation. Although it was difficult, we adapted nevertheless. We aren’t perfect, and we certainly don’t ever anticipate to always agree, but in what reality do parents ever always agree? Yet my goal, and her goal are one in the same. To create a world where he will know nothing but love and support. A world where his success will be applauded and his failures will be consoled.
Both of us have found our own respective significant others who have come into our son’s life and bought into our plan fully. Which brings me to the main point of my writing today, that love and support is contagious.
Yes, for you Hard Knocks watchers, I am somewhat stealing this from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, as I am a fan of the Dawg Pound. Nevertheless, the word describes what I have witnessed with my own eyes. So, stolen or not, contagious it is.
Because we both displayed our devotion to this environment we were building for our son, our partners were able to not just see it, they were able to help build it, and experience it along with our son. Where there were two, now there are four.
The result? Well, after I was peed on, and his mother vomited on, our son hugged us in both instances. He apologized without being told to. He felt bad. Even though both weren’t his fault in the least bit and there was nothing to apologize for. He showed compassion, empathy, and understanding. In his three short years of life, he has already displayed to us what we hoped he would; Love and support.
He has watched us, heard us, lived with us, and has absorbed it all. From her home to my home, from my family to her family, he has been engulfed with everyone’s unique ways to show him love and support. It is not the structure of his family, but rather the doctrine of it. The unwritten fundamentals and ideology by which he is being raised, that can only be effective if they are true.
As a family, all of us will have our ups and downs. There will be bumps in the road. He will at times be mad at each one of us individually and collectively. He will like one better than the other on many occasions. I am certain of it, but that is what happens when raising a child. Still, after the bad days, the moments of disappointment, and any other adverse occurrence, he will know that love and support was there from the beginning and will be until the end.