Randall has been my son for 44 months which is about 1341 days or 32 184 hours... that's a lot of hours.
For the first 38 of them he merely tolerated my presence in his life. I was not the Mom he wanted and there was little I could say or do to make him change his mind. In many ways we tolerated each other, he tried to make me miserable ( succeeding frequently) while I tried to make him love me. Although I did make some progress ( in the processing of teaching him to trust me) I really felt like was rowing backwards at the edge of a waterfall. He did come to me for comfort on occasion, he did occasionally reach out to me, there was a part of him that wanted to be loved but the walls he had built around his heart where solid and very, very high.
He let Jack in first and as a result for a long time Jack did much of the parenting of Randall on his own. I met his day-to-day physical needs but when it came to handing out consequences or dealing with big issues Jack handled it. I supported him as best I could, I participated and Randall knew we were in this together but since he was so very good at making me crazy it was easier to step away and let Jack deal with it.
There were so many days when I felt as though nothing was ever going to change and that I had to be ok with that. He might never attach to me, it may always feel as though he is someone else's child and I am just taking care of him. I began to accept that he might never heal in the ways that his brother had. In many ways I had given up hope that anything was ever going to change. We were destined to tolerate one another's presence, nothing more and as heartbreaking as that was for me I had accepted it as best I could.
( please excuse me while I now compare my relationship with my son to a baseball game)
Then one day in October, literally out of left field there was a ball, he threw it to me and I caught it. It was a small ball, a little tiny piece of love thrown from him to me. Slowly but surely he started to throw more and more tiny little love balls in my direction. Weeks passed although he was still throwing little love balls my way he was also throwing great big huge balls that screamed you don't love me enough to keep me. As he threw those huge screaming balls he tested out how he could make me stop loving him. Catching those huge balls as they screamed toward me was infuriating and hopeful at the same time.
This past week he ran out of left field, circled the bases and met me at home plate. He ran straight into my waiting arms. I think he might be here to stay ( that doesn't mean he'll stop testing but he believes me when I say I love him) and it warms my heart to think that maybe, just maybe he might let me love him the way he deserves to be loved.
He is a fabulous kid with a compassionate and loving heart and I am so glad that he is finally trusting enough to let me take a little piece of it and keep it all for me, his Mama.