Ok, I thought I could get on here and complain about how things are not really better, but some places on my back are still getting worse...or I could let that go for a bit and talk about some things I am grateful for. I think I'll opt for the grateful stuff, huh? :)
I was thinking this morning... I woke up all throughout the night and tend to really have a hard time sleeping when it's raining (are you wondering about the grateful or does this sound like complaining? I'm getting there...). I'm not scared of storms at all, but it was raining quite a bit and a little after 5am, there was some really loud thunder. I do happen to know that this would scare Camden if it woke him up. So, I thought I would wait a bit to see if he was woken by it...and then he comes running into the bedroom. I immediately pulled back the blanket and said, hop in! I have always tried to prevent him from being scared of storms - he gets this from his dad. I remind him, it's just noise - nothing will hurt you. But I can't help but enjoy that he is lying there with me and we're cuddling. :) And it led me to think about some other things that I am so grateful for with him. And some things that I am surprised to be able to still be grateful for.
When Camden started Kindergarten, I knew he might suddenly stop wanting to kiss and hug me in public. That's when a lot of kids do that - when they start school and are around other kids and might get embarrassed. Never happened. I kept waiting and expecting it (I still do!), appreciating every goodbye kiss he gave me in front of the school bus. Still hasn't happened. He'll be in 4th grade in the fall, and he still hugs and kisses me in public, holds my hand when we walk sometimes, tells me he loves me. I love every single second of it. He's not shy about it at all; he never gets embarrassed. I never push it, but I don't have to, either. We're very cuddly. He won't hesitate to cuddle up with me on the couch under a blanket while we both read or chat. I've been walking him home from school the past week since I've been out of grad school, and from time to time, he'll grab my hand and hold it for a little bit. :) When he lets go, I let him. But I can't help but be overjoyed that he wanted to hold my hand for a bit (and we're walking along a very busy street!).
Camden has this little blankie that means the world to him. My stepdad's mother, Grandma Strode, made it for him when he was born, and he sleeps with it every night. There are little bits of yarn tied at each corner throughout the blanket, and he would always play with them as he fell asleep. This past summer, we realized the edges were getting worn and he might need to retire the blanket soon. That would not do. We turned to Mammaw Melly who can sew and fix anything. They went to the store to find some fabric to put around the edges, and she was so impressed that he just marched in there with his blanket in tow, not thinking twice about what anybody might think about an 8-year-old boy carrying a "blankie" in public. Didn't even cross his mind! And he won't hesitate to take it with him for sleepovers, as well as a little stuffed animal to sleep with. I am so thankful that he is that secure with himself and doesn't think about what others will say. (He also made sure that the new fabric covered the edges but showed some of the original edging - how cute is that?)
Camden is also quite sensitive. He will cry and get his feelings hurt easily. True, sometimes this is frustrating. It took me a long time to get the kid to take a joke, and it meant really working at it with him. And he still has a hard time sometimes. (I'm sensitive, too, so he probably gets this one from me - but I'm also not one to feel sorry for people easily, so I have to watch it!) But the positive spin - he thinks about others, too. I'll hear him sometimes when he's playing outside with some other kids. Someone will stumble but not actually get hurt, and Camden will still say "Are you ok?" and really care. When we remind him to think about someone else's feelings, he can do that easily and understands others' hurt. It really helps him to think about how he can affect them b/c he knows how things affect him.
And this morning was just one more reminder. I kept thinking how wonderful that he is almost 9 and feels so safe with us that he can admit he is scared and can run to us and know we'll keep him safe and won't brush him off as being silly. He can come to me and cry if he is sad or hurt and knows I won't push him away.
And this is what I am MOST grateful for... When I tell him I love him, he can say "I know." That means the world to me. I wonder how many kids don't really know they are loved, and he has always been able to say this and know it. I say it all the time, but they aren't just words. I back them up. When I'm strict, he knows why. I explain the reasons. When he is in trouble, he knows why. He knows that he doesn't have to say I love you back (though he always does!!) but that he can say "I know" and that makes mommy just as happy, if not more. I am so incredibly grateful for that!! Him being able to know that makes me feel successful as his mommy. :)