Anybody who has ever had a child understands the unsurpassable love that you have for your child. Not much else in the world compares, and that love prevails through the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is so much easier to get hurt yourself than to watch a child get hurt. When you feel your child is hurting, this "mamma bear" instinct kicks in and you would do just about anything to make your little one feel better.
So, a few days ago, when we were all sitting around just hanging out, Tucker says out of the blue
"Mom, you know what happened at Friday Fun Day today?" I ask him what, expecting something exciting to live up to the name. "I felt invisible" he says."Nobody wanted to play with me. Nobody even looked at me." Now, this may sound like normal childhood woes to everybody else, but to this mom it was like hearing your pet died. Honestly, even while writing this, my eyes are welling up with tears. I asked him what he ended up doing and he said "Nothing. I just sat by myself" Of course, I said all the motherly things. "Oh honey, you're not invisible. If nobody wants to play, than just find something fun to do by yourself. If you're having fun, that's all that matters" Uncle Philip then told him the stories of his childhood at Mark Twain, when he was bullied and made fun of, and how Auntie JoAnna beat up his bully one time.
However, picturing my little boy sitting all by himself, sad and lonely, in the midst of what was supposed to be their Friday fun reward, made me so insanely sad, I literally wept the entire night. It was verging on ridiculous, to be honest. I sat there and every five minutes, tears would start streaming down my face. About 4 hours later, Chris looked at me closely and said "Honey?!! What's wrong? Are you crying?? (obviously, being a guy, Chris had probably already forgotten the conversation hours earlier) Tucker piped up "She just sad because I felt invisible" very matter of factly. He gets it. He knows him mom is slightly neurotic, and very protective.
Truth of the matter is, as parents we blame ourselves. So running through my mind was, "Am I making him feel invisible??" Since being pregnant and having Ryker, I have tried very hard to make sure that Tucker hasn't felt left out. But pregnancy and an infant is very demanding. During my pregnancy, he was lucky if I left the toilet long enough to wake him up in the morning. And now, I have a breastfeeding baby that demands a great deal of my time. Plus, with everybody around us doting on the little baby, poor Tuck has been pushed to the back burner. After all, holding a 63lb, 7 year old isn't quite as easy as snuggling a 15lb, almost 3 month old.
Kid's are so resilient, I'm sure this has affected me more than him. I know I have many years in store of this. There are many times to come, when he will come home sad because somebody was mean to him at school. Someday, there will be a girl who will break his little heart. And along with every little heartbreak he experiences, mine will break right there with his. I can't protect him from all the hurt in the world, but what I can do is make sure that he never feels invisible here.