All you need is love
I love it when Andrew reminisces on past events. Yesterday he asked me if I remembered when he broke the Caillou treehouse toy he got for his birthday (not my favourite memory!) and I said, ‘Yes, I remember that…You broke it on your birthday right after you opened it!!’ He said, ‘Yes, I did!’ and then the cute part was the way he suddenly lit up and said, ‘That was a GOOD cake we ate on my birthday!’ Awwww! I just love that boy so much, and his memory, and all the things he likes (cake being right up there on the list, that’s my boy!) I love that I know all his favourite things, and I love that I get to spend more time with him than anyone else, and therefore know him better than anyone does.
In my coping with depression course this week, we talked a bit about contributing factors for depression. Particularly how your childhood attachment (or lack thereof, depending) has so much to do with it. Apparently, roughly 60% of children are ‘properly’ attached (with strong, reinforcing bonds with their primary caregiver(s) from the most important ages of 11 months – 3 years) while 40% of people are dealing with a lack of attachment that has caused emotional issues later in life. Of course, there are also environmental factors, and biological factors that come into play after the attachment (or lack thereof) takes place. All fairly common sense stuff, but interesting to think about. It made me think about my own life, and I can say that I honestly believe I had very positive attachment in the crucial stages (and throughout my life), so I’m very lucky. There are certainly some biological factors that could make me predisposed toward depression, given I have close family members who suffer from it. But I think mainly, for me, the clincher was the environmental trauma of losing our last baby.
What I found particularly interesting, though, was considering how Andrew has been raised so far. It was very reassuring to me to know that he without a doubt has had a very positive attachment experience in the crucial stages of emotional development. I may sometimes question if I’m doing things ‘right’, but at the end of each and every day I can say with 100% certainty that my boy knows he is loved, he receives (and gives!) lots of hugs, kisses, he knows he’s precious and the most important person in my entire world (and his dad’s, and his grandparents, and so forth). So while of course there are still ways in which he could be taken down a negative path in life (although I sincerely hope it won’t happen that way), I know that he has a very good chance at overcoming any challenges he’s faced with. I feel good about that. Although in all honesty, I just couldn’t be any other way with him. How could I have a child and not want to love them and nurture them and provide them with the very best of absolutely everything in my power? And come on, love is free! You can make sure your child knows how much they mean to you no matter what, there are no excuses in my book. (Although of course I realize it isn’t always so black and white).
This morning Andrew woke me up very early, so we were laying on the couch together watching a show, cuddled up together. He must have realized how early it was, and how usually on a day he was off to his Nana’s, I would still be asleep that time of the morning. He turned to me and said, ‘Mommy, why are you up right now?!’ I said, ‘Well, because you woke me up…but also because I wanted to spend some time with you before you head downtown.’ He knew I was saying something nice to him, and his response was to kiss my arm and hug it (he was cuddled up by my arm, so it made sense!) It was the cutest thing, like he was letting me know what a sweet gesture it was that I got up early to be with him before he had to go. I love his sensitivity, and how loving he is. I’m the luckiest Mom to have him!