"Boo doesn't love me," I said. My therapist told me my expectations were unrealistic, that I was putting an adult's definitions and behaviors onto a little child. She was good, but that didn't sit right with me. That was the beginning of my end with her.
If Boo loved me, it was a love maimed by terror and trauma and insecurity. Toddling along, he would avoid me, hurt me in little ways. Never sit in my lap. Never. Unless you count the 1 second his little butt would touch my thighs before sliding off to something else. He never said, "I love you," no matter how many times he heard it from us.
Whenever we would get in the car, he would repeat little phrases over and over, one after the other. "Stimming," they call it: self-stimulating behavior to soothe themselves. It made me crazy. Crazy. And sometimes, I'd forget he was this beautiful, little, little child, and I would act in ways that still twist my stomach in knots from shame.
Now he says, "Oma, I love you," over and over again. Sometimes, every 5 minutes. It nearly made me scream, but I must have learned a thing over the years because I calmly said, "Boo, why do you say 'I love you' so much? Do you feel it or do you just want to say it?"
"Well, mom? Mom? It makes my love get big."
Happy Mother's Day to me.