I know it’s been far too long since I’ve written anything, so I won’t even try to cover everything I’ve missed. But I was inspired to write tonight, so here I am.
This is Squishy:
Yes, he’s changed quite a bit since the last picture I posted, but he’s still the same crazy little boy he always was. He’s five years old now and in kindergarten. Loves mud and mess-making, being wild and rambunctious, babbles constantly and can’t keep his hands to himself. He can read and write well enough that it scares me a little, lol, and he’s passionate about singing and creating art (typically abstract, but that’s just his style.) He’s also incredibly sensitive, empathetic and intuitive, feels deeply, and understands concepts sometimes beyond his years. (For example, he knew *SPOILER ALERT* Tadashi was dead in Big Hero 6 even though I had to explain it to Jose.)
Squishy wants EVERYONE to be loved, even villains. He feels badly when they are hurt or destroyed, and just wants everyone to be happy. His favorite character in Frozen was Marshmallow – the big snow monster – and it made him happy for DAYS that Marshmallow found Elsa’s crown at the end of the credits. (Conversely, he was NOT happy when Marshmallow was melted by Regina on Once Upon a Time – I told him Elsa could just remake him another time…) When I asked him last October if he thought the actor Pablo Schreiber was a bad man (I happened to be reading an article where Pablo stated that he was currently the most hated man on TV, after season 1 of OITNB, and given his role at the time on Law & Order: SVU), Squishy looked at Pablo’s picture and deliberated for a few moments before announcing, “No. He’s my friend. I like him.” Since then, he has communicated with him several times through YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, even defending him against naysayers by reminding them that it’s just pretend and Pablo would never hurt anyone. Squishy loves EVERYONE and wants them to know it. And he wants everyone to love each other as well.
But sometimes Squishy forgets to love himself. And tonight was one of those nights. Earlier in the evening, he’d made a not so great choice when he was asked to clean up. He took the box of Lego creations Jose and he had made, that had been set in there carefully so as to not be destroyed before they could work on them on the future, and shook it back-and-forth as hard as he could because he was angry that Jose had taken the other box and left him with this one. In the process, of course, he destroyed most of what was in there – everything will have to be re-created and rebuilt. But we moved on with our evening without any great mishap. We had baths and dinner, watched Once Upon a Time, and the boys went to bed.
It wasn’t until about an hour after he gone to bed that I realized Squishy was crying. And this wasn’t “look at me! look at me!” crying, this was deep, heartfelt, sorrowful tears of regret. I went in and got in bed with him and asked him what was wrong. And he just held me and cried and said that he couldn’t stop thinking about the Lego creations he had ruined when he shook the box back-and-forth. He told me that he was just so upset because he knew that Jose would’ve been careful with that box but Jose didn’t listen when he asked him to take it. So he shook the box on purpose to show that he couldn’t be trusted with things that break. And now he felt terrible. He sobbed into my shoulder and said, “I couldn’t control my anger mommy. It’s just too quick and I can’t stop it!”
Oh, my little man. He does so break my heart sometimes! I stayed with him for awhile, and we talked. I shared a story of a time I was his age and I let my anger get the best of me. I wanted to show him that he wasn’t alone. Squishy calmed down while we talked, and he asked if he could say a prayer with me. He prayed for help with his anger, and that he wouldn’t ruin his Lego things next time. He hugged me and held on for what seemed like forever, and we told each other over and over that we loved one another, and finally he was ready to let go. Then he went to sleep within five minutes of me leaving the room.
And this just made me think tonight, that we all need to stop sometimes and listen. Listen for the cries of another who needs to talk, even if they’re not actually making any noise. Reach out to someone if you can see that they’re hurting. If they’ve changed recently and you’re not sure why, just see if they need a friend. Sometimes people simply want to know that they’re not alone. They need to be reminded that they’re loved. Yes, Squishy could’ve come out of his room and asked to talk with me, but sometimes that’s a really hard thing to do. I’m sure he was afraid if he got out of bed that he would be in trouble. Just like we are so often afraid of a negative reaction if we reach out to those around us when we desperately need to talk to someone.
If I had been listening to music or watching a show with my headphones on tonight (as I so often do in the evenings) and not heard him crying, who knows how long Squishy would’ve laid in there, sobbing tears of anguish and broken-heartedness before he cried himself to sleep?? I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to know his heart a little more and see what he was feeling. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to share a part of me with him. There’s certainly nothing wrong with me listening to music or watching a show, but because I was present and able, I was there for him in exactly the way he needed.
So my prayer for all of you as you read this, is that you, too, might have the chance to stop what you’re doing and listen, and see if you can help another. And if you are the one who needs help, needs to be listened to, needs a shoulder to cry on and an understanding heart, my prayer is that someone will do just that for you. And to everyone: PLEASE REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELVES. You are worth it.
Happy first Sunday of Advent, 2014. Blessings, peace, and love to all of you.