Another Brick in the Wall
Today I looked over at Erik and told him that we were going out for a while on an "adventure" to the store. I apologized to him for my lack of motivation and the fact I hadn't been a very good mother for the past couple of days. Truthfully, he hasn't seemed to really absorb much of what I say out loud in the past. Besides, I talk to myself quite often, and he has (understandably) learned to tune me out at times. In this case, I wasn't really expecting an answer at all.
He stopped in his tracks, turned to look at me, and smiled sweetly.
He said, "No, you are a good mom!"
He crawled up in my lap and cuddled with me. My eyes watered. It seemed like such a strange thing to say in the middle of his odd, made-up game he was intent on playing alone. In fact, his statement sounded foreign to me with the perfect intonation an adult would tend to use. He seemed to be channeling someone else, as I sometimes suspect he does.
He then looked up at me and said, "Hey, Mom, I have to go potty."
I almost fell over.
He answered that he did. He has never told me this before. He followed me to the bathroom and allowed me to assist him without any fuss at all. I sat on the edge of the bathtub next to him and continued chatting with him as he successfully used the toilet. I tried to contain my excitement.
I said, "Yeah, I do love you an awful lot. I try to take really good care of you."
He smiled and replied, "Yeah. You take care of me when I am spitting orange."
Again, I was amazed. The first time he remembers throwing up was after he had eaten some segments of an orange, which came up all over his hands and the toy truck he was holding at the time. Therefore, he refers to vomiting as "spitting orange." He also apparently remembers that I was there holding him while he was violently ill, stroking his hair and putting my cheek against his clammy forehead. The way he smiled telling me this made it appear as if he were relating a fond memory of a vacation or a visit to a dear relative, not violently upchucking the contents of his stomach. Strangely, it seemed to be a pleasant memory for him.
On days like today, a brick in that awful, dark wall between us crumbles without warning, and one more shaft of sunlight spikes into my world. I live for moments like this, and it seems they come when I need them the most.
Erik seems to see and hear things other children don't. These strange things in his own world interfere with what he would typically understand or learn. However, what's important is that there is no longer any doubt in my mind that he remembers all of the little things I do for him because I love him.
And that he loves me right back.