My heart feels like it’s being pulled in two different directions. I see this little boy for whom I have an incredible amount of love. I see how his smile lights up my world. I can be having the worst day and when I get home and he asks for a hug and kiss, all my fears and worries drift away. I literally feel my stress leave my body because all I need is his arms around my neck, squeezing. After his hug full of love ends, he excitedly wants to play and share his favorite parts of the day. At dinner time, he shares what he’s thankful for and then asks, “Mom, what are you thankful for?” When mom says three things she’s thankful for, he says, “Dad, what are you thankful for?” He makes me happy in ways I never knew were possible. I never fully understood the connection a dad could have with his son, but now I get it and I absolutely love it!
As happy as all of that makes me feel, I’m also sad during this time. I see the world in which we live. The world in which I grew up. The bullying, the name-calling, the addictions, all of the bad of this broken world. For the past three years, I have been able to protect my little boy from this world. If a show comes on that he shouldn’t be watching, I can turn it off. If he clicks on a YouTube video that isn’t appropriate, I can turn it off. If there are mean kids playing at the park, I can re-direct him to another part of the park. If he’s had too much screen-time, I can put it up. It hurts and saddens me to realize that I’m not going to be able to protect him forever. We go to the park and he just wants to play with other kids, but not all kids want to play with him. And the look of disappointment on his face is a look I can relate to. It absolutely breaks my heart in a way that I never knew was possible. My heart aches for him as he wants so badly to grow up. And, yes, I want him to grow up as well, but I’m so scared for how this world might change him.
What encourages me is knowing that he has so many people in his life who love and care for him in ways most kids are not as lucky to have. He has a mom that is so incredible and selfless in her love for our son. The way she loves Jackson is absolutely beautiful. He has a birth mom that is so amazing and supportive in her love for Jackson. He has grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, close friends who all love and support him in amazing ways.
His mom and I will always be here for him. We will always love and support him. We will always pray for him.