At a recent camp pickup, the staff told me they had a sad moment. T told her he had a dream that his Daddy and Papa died.
He told her that “he got very sad because he’ll be all alone.”
T also recently told me that he had a dream where he saw me in a frozen lake and saw my face, presumably dead.
When I sit with him at bedtime and ask him to close his eyes, he’d say that he doesn’t want to close his eyes because he’ll have a dream.
He’s brought up more than once the ice dream.
On one hand, I am sad that T had these dreams.
On the other hand, I think it’s incredible that T is able to share his feelings and articulate his thoughts.
I find this to be a mature quality for kids his age, special needs or otherwise.
As a parent, it is important for me to teach T that life is not sunshine and joy all the time. I don’t want to shy away from, ignore or repress difficult topics and unpleasant feelings.
Giving T the skills and the vocabulary to process not-so-pleasant emotions and thoughts is all part of helping him build resiliency.
So we talked about his dream and I assured him the hubby and I will be here for him.
It’s important to normalize hard topics with T in an age appropriate way.
The hubby and I are T’s safe space. I have no doubt that this is how he feels.
We want him to continue to know that he can always share his feelings with us in a safe and non judgmental way.
Similarly, with the pandemic, we talk openly and truthfully about the virus. We keep it factual and concise, keeping the audience in mind.
It’s incredible to me how insightful kids can be and how T often gets things more than I give him credit for.
It’s one of the positives of parenting him and I realize this is a privilege and not the same for all kids. So I’m thankful for that.
During our recent roadtrip, I asked T to come out of the car, to stretch his legs and to go inside a store. He wasn’t feeling in the mood, so he yelled, “I can’t, there’s disease out there!”
I had quite the chuckle from that reaction.
Perhaps one of the most profound conversations T, the hubby and I have had recently is about adoption.
Since T was three, I started telling “The T Story” as part of our bedtime story routine.
It is a very simplified and short version of how T came into our lives.
I never used the word adoption but more about how T came to our family at age one from a different family.
Then one day, T asked me to explain a bit more and so I said he’s adopted.
He now understands he was with one family – whom we still keep in touch with – and that we adopted him.
There’s still a lot about his life that he doesn’t know about, like his birth mother and his invisible disability.
And these are all things we will talk about with T as he gets older and in age appropriate ways.
I don’t think these conversations will be easy, but they will be necessary.
Truth always prevails in the end and so we decide to live life in truth and reality – and trust and hope these conversations will be positive.
Contrary to what Jack Nicholson seems to think, I think T can handle the truth!
One of the most heartwarming but also hilarious moments during our recent roadtrip was during a hike at The Cup and Saucer Trail at Manitoulin Island.
We passed by a family with a young girl and a dog. T asked to pet the dog, as he does whenever we pass by a dog.
The girl, around his age, told T that the dog was adopted.
T blurts out immediately in response, “I’m adopted too!”