This is a submission in our monthly contest. October’s theme is Determination. Enter your own here!
We decided to get pregnant.
As younger adults, my husband and I had thought about this for a three-year period. What with the state of the world being so awry, having a child seemed akin to abuse. Violence, poverty, and a myriad of all types of conflicts on this planet held off this particular journey for quite some time.
As decent, intelligent, intuitive, and diligent people, we finally felt that our offspring would have stability and most importantly, love. Our son was born and all seemed right with our little family. The state of the world be damned!
Motherhood suited me. I had made a pact with my God that I would try to never demean my little Michael, nor would I ever strike him in anger. I held to that agreement and Michael was nurtured as he grew into an awesome person in his own right.
I was lost in a sea of sludge, barely able to tell the day or time. I had been absolutely caught off guard and try as I might, I was incapable of caring for my nine-year-old son. A broken heart leaves little for one to function with. My ex had custody, yet living in the same town allowed me to spend time with our son. That poor little guy did suffer, though. He had night terrors, occasionally wet his bed and wore a constant frown.
Of course, we made it clear to Michael that he was not responsible or to blame for this trauma. I bit my tongue over and over again so as not to share with my little guy the heartbreak that was all encompassing. I walked in a daze however, cried round the clock and was convinced that I would never feel happiness again. Not an environment for the well-being of a child. The world, per say, had not kicked in Michael’s door – we, his parents, had.
Surprisingly, with the guidance of a child psychologist, Michael continued to do well in school, maintained his friendships and was an appealing child. He developed a transient tongue clicking tic about six months after the divorce was finalized but was young enough to not feel self-conscious. (A zealot neurologist led me to believe that this tic was the onset of Tourette’s syndrome, but thankfully his diagnosis was incorrect.)
Eventually I rallied. I worked part time, connected with several ladies who became dear friends, and found my smile again. Michael earned his black belt in Karate, was constantly an honor roll student, and had a mind full of curiosity and wonder. He is an avid reader, personable, and funny.
Children are not necessarily fragile. Most have an innate strength that a crisis can’t squash. The author, Graham Green said, “There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”
And the future did well by us all.
We got to the other side.