The Little Guy

dippel.jpgSummer has started here in Texas and the heat is on. Grayson has started his series of summer camps, and we're looking forward to our birthday trip over the 4th of July weekend.

Ten years old. It's hard to believe that my little guy will be 10. He was 5 when he lost his dad, and I was so afraid that he'd be permanently damaged by the whole experience. Five years later, he seems to be doing so well, it's amazing.

My little guy is pure sunshine and sweetness, and such a joy to be around. He's a normal kid who drives me nuts with his contrariness and quest for independence, but he lights me up daily. When school ended last week, he brought home a poetry book that he had been working on all year. On the dedication page he wrote "to my mom, because she is my only parent and means everything to me, I love her." He gave it to me while I was getting ready for work, and I had to redo my eye make-up after. :)

I have said so many times over the past few years that he is the life line that has kept me sane and focused on the positive. He has been my evidence that life is still good, and the reason in the early months of this journey that I could even get out of bed. Without him I'm not sure how well I'd be doing now. The amazing thing is that I know we lift each other up. I made it a point early on to be honest with him about how I was feeling, I didn't try to hide my sadness from him. But, I also made it a point to show him it was okay to have a little fun in spite of it all. I wanted him to know that life was not over for us.

It was fake at first. I was sort of "modeling happiness" - consciously putting on a happy face sometimes, just so he'd have a little lightness in those first dark months. I wanted him to know that all the joy wasn't gone from our world. I tickled him and told him jokes and took extra care to play and be light. It was painful sometimes. I just didn't really have the energy. But as time passed, it became more sincere and easier, I needed that silly time as much as he did.

Now, almost five years later, it's not an act. I am happy and so is he. I don't have to intentionally put on a happy face anymore, it's naturally there. We are content with our world the way it is, and life is pretty darn good. I wouldn't have thought it was possible, and am so grateful to find out that it is. Is he permanently damaged by this experience? I hope not, but he has definitely been changed by it. So have I.

I guess my point today is: Thank heavens for little boys! :) They say it's the little things that help to get you through life's ups and downs, and in my case it's the little guy.

Happy Tuesday! 

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