like me

“He is so much like me…it worries me,” I said to my therapist at my appointment last week.

I was talking about Eddie.

I talk about him a lot in therapy.

Being a mom is hard for me.  His being placed in my arms didn’t do that thing that I thought it would do.  I thought it would transform me into a crying emotional ball of love and gratitude for the perfect being that I grew in my tummy.

But instead I was left confused. And tired. And depressed. And anxious. And resentful.

I’m still confused.

And tired.

Our relationship is like nothing I have ever experienced before.

I suppose that should be a given…that it is obvious.  But for some reason it surprises me daily, hourly even.

It’s a strange thing seeing a tiny version of yourself walking around in the world.

And Eddie truly is a small version of me in almost every way possible.

I watch him play and think out loud to himself and I can remember doing the same thing when I was small.  He has trouble falling asleep when there are things on his mind just like me.  When something bothers or worries or puzzles him he needs to talk it out, just like I do.

He also worries.

A lot.

He thinks about big things that seem too big for a 3 year old to worry about.

Like the idea of “forever” and “death” and “heaven”.

He asks questions I don’t know the answers to for my own mind let alone how to put something into words that will soothe the worry of such a small little guy.

“I worry about him turning out like me.”

“Is that bad?”

“I just don’t want him to…end up…here,” I say as I look around my therapist’s office, “you know, no offense or anything.”

He is emotional. Dramatic. Worrisome.

He is me.

He wears his heart on his sleeve and cannot tell a lie.

He is me.

He gets excited about the smallest things and cries over even smaller things.

He is me.

But…he is also Eddie.

He is NOT me.

He is Eddie.

He loves me fiercely…and I love him madly.

And I hope I am enough for him…

so he doesn’t end up like me.

Ok, maybe he can be a little like me.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. My son and I are two peas in a pod. But I know he is being raised in a warmer, more loving, more attentive (but not overbearing!) environment than I was. All we can do is one better than our parents did and hope it works. But, dude, if he does need a therapist someday, I hope mine is still in practice. She really gets me. lol

  2. He’s you in the ways he should be.
    He’s him in the ways he’s meant to be.
    That is enough for any mother. xo

  3. I so get this – Gunne is me in every way. I find it interesting, though, raising myself. I have insights that my husband does not. I can teach him coping strategies for the things that scare him (everything). I don’t have to watch him struggle with the things I struggled with, because I can teach him.

  4. My youngest Carly is my mini me. It’s hard to watch her because I want her to end up so much better than me.

  5. What Alison said!!! He is you and he’s also Cort… there are pieces of both of you there. I see it in my own children. I do worry at times and then I see how our two parts are perfectly meshed in them! You’re his mommy… always!

  6. I so get this. Both my husband and I are prone to depression and anxiety, and one of my biggest fears is that Jackson will be, too. So I understand where you’re coming from.

    But the Kate I see is strong, resilient, loving, kind, motivated, and a great writer. And those things trump the other qualities, in my book!

  7. My oldest daughter is my clone, from looks to temperament, to likes/dislikes, mannerisms, interests, everything. I try to remember that when she acts like an ass (I was so not an ass at 11. My assishness didn’t kick in until 16, thankyouverymuch). I think we will always try to keep our kids from following in what we consider our ungood footsteps, taking certain same paths, but know that we are also giving them our goodness, our coping abilities, our strengths, the best of us. Focus on that and know that since you are so similar you actually have an inside track into his mind, his thoughts, his doing, his reasoning. You won’t ever know everything but you will try, you will remember, and you will be you. Because no matter how much you think he should differ, there is so much good within you that you want him to get, that he deserves to get, that you will give to him for him to be him.

  8. Now stop! You ARE the best thing for him. No one, I mean no one could be a better mother to him than you.

  9. I so feel you. I went into counseling because I want to help my son not fall into the same emotional pitfalls as me. I WORRY he’ll be a worrier and a pleaser. We can only do the best we can, and I’m working to change my behavior so I can model the positive behaviors I want him to internalize. Parenting is HARD!

  10. Isn’t funny how we say our kids are like us one minute, then like our spouse the other minute? I suppose it’s only fitting. Kids are made from 2 people after all. 😉

    Love the silly shots.. Those are fun!

  11. Don’t forget that by being you, you also have the unique tools to help him and recognize when he is having a hard time.

    And you? I don’t think you’re such a bad person to be. Loving and kind and generous and an amazing writer and teacher. And mother. Don’t forget that, even on the days it seems hard.

  12. I worry about CJ, with whom I share no genetic material, being like me…. because, well, when you’re around someone all of the time, you’re going to rub off on them – it’s completely impossible to avoid.

    But, for all of the worries & little things that you seen that he’s getting from you, he’s also caring. And he seems selfless. And smart. Those aren’t bad things that he’s inherited from someone I know.

  13. I get this completely.
    The teacher sent a note home with Chase a week or so ago. It read, “Mrs Kim, please cut the crust off of Chase’s sandwich. He gets very ANXIOUS when he eats his lunch.”…..yea, anxious. There isn’t a day that goes by where I find myself wondering if today was the day I fucked up my kid. Gah.

  14. Being you is not bad. Period.

    PS. Someone had to say that to me once as a parent. It took me at least 3 years to believe it. I do now. We are not our diseases.

  15. Of course he is you, all the best and worst parts. Both you and your husband. He’s perfect. And such a cutie!!