I have seen a shift in him. When he used to tout, “Don’t worry, Mom! I can do it myself!” before he proudly headed to the bathroom, glad to display he is just as big and capable as his older brothers, now he shyly says, “Mom, I want you to come wis me.”
His sub-conscious imagination is flourishing, developmentally right on time. There have only been a few bad dreams so far, but they have affected him. The last one took a toll. That night I was in his room three times and woke up with him next to me, a bit foggy on when he actually arrived there.
After that night I noticed he wanted company at times when previously he would have shown off his cool skills of self-reliance. He does not want to be on the other side of the house without a companion. And his preference is Mom.
I will be honest. I don’t mind. In fact, even though it may be a tad inconvenient at times, I find it rather comforting myself. I know what it is to need the presence of another safe human being. Not to have them give me anything or tell me anything or solve my problems for me, but just to be with me. In my fear. In my insecurity. In my emotional need.
Having a tangible safe person with me reminds me that the things in my head are not real. They are abstract and they cannot come and hurt me. Which of course seems obvious now as I write, but when I am alone and my imagination runs and panic races its heat through my body I am less sure.
In my son’s normal developmental stage of imagination going wild, I am reminded of what a gift it is to simply be present with someone. Not to solve or fix or do for them, but just to be with them. Someone who doesn’t force me to face the fears inside my head alone, just to make me stronger. But instead says we are in this together. I am with you. No matter how rational or irrational your fears are, I will not leave.
And so when he is the first one up and comes to me at six o’clock in the morning and says he wants to snuggle I actually physically smile. Because it is so beautiful to be together. Present with one another. And I love that he is not too proud or embarrassed or ashamed to ask. I hope he never is.