Today my Jonny turned five. Yes, Daddy took him out for his birthday breakfast yesterday (John had to go out of town today), and yes, I sang happy birthday to my boy and gave him his five spankings and a pinch to grow an inch. And yes, he and Dennis got to take a fun shower with Mama--- a special treat to have me stand on the drain while we showered and let the base fill up with water, but with the decision to actually celebrate his birthday this Saturday, it felt a little weird keeping the day so low key. Good thing Jonny picked Chuck E. Cheese to let loose!
It is precious how much older he considers himself to be now that he is five. He was extra helpful, insisted on eating a whole cup of noodles, and thought that he had magically outgrown his need to wear his eye patch today. Poor little guy was a bit disappointed when I made him take a nap because we would be staying out till 8:00pm which is past his bedtime..... five year olds just shouldn't have to take naps, you know.
I look at Jonny and feel so blessed to have him as a son. I love the way his face looks, his breath smells, his hair lays, and the way he sneaks into my bed every night to cuddle. I am struggling with encouraging him to grow up...... it has been brought to my attention....... is that so bad?
I do realize this and have actually made more of an effort to initiate a little more independence. I do not walk him to his speech class anymore. He feels like such a big boy now that he is walking from the office all the way to his class and back. One day we missed his speech and I asked if we could make it up. The teacher said to bring him in at 12:30--- lunch time for many kids. So when we got to the school tons of kids were out on the campus for recess. Jonny was reluctant to venture out into the crowd to make his way to speech. I insisted, the mean mommy I can be, and watched him beeline straight for his class without stopping for a second. Yes my little guy was brave.
He did very well in his pre-k class at church tonight--- never even shed a tear when I dropped him off. Dennis was a different story. We had waited until three weeks ago to put Dennis in the church nursery. The first three weeks he was fine and never cried, but tonight was the first time that he didn't like being dropped off. I took a pager and scooted my other kids out the door. I waited and listened to see if the crying would continue. It didn't. And while I was sad that Dennis cried, I am thankful beyond words that his attachment has gone so well.
I feel that he is a part of me, could have come from me, and is very much my son in every way. I ashamedly offered up info to perfect strangers early on that Dennis was adopted, indicating that I was in no way responsible for his birth defect, and now I have grown to become so proud of him that I wish that I had had the privilege of carrying him in my womb and feeling him move around inside me. Funny how, even us adults have to learn to attach to our adopted children..... on a much deeper level than meets the eye. I know that from the get-go that I was attached to Dennis, but I didn't know that my love would continue to grow deeper for him to where it is now.
Today I got progress reports. All my kids are doing incredibly well. Anna got straight A's and one B+--- she was so proud of herself. Holding her back was the best thing we could have done for her education, self esteem, and sense of achievement.
Even Rachel got a much improved progress report. Her first year with us last year, we focused mainly on attachment and bonding. I think that until a solid, trusting relationship has been established between the child and parents, it is not fair to expect the child to be able to focus on school work. We recently learned this, and I must say that now that Rachel is firmly rooted in our family she feels secure enough to focus her attention on school. And it is evident in her grades. Mostly C's. This is huge progress for our daughter------ I am so proud of her. And she like all of our other kids know that once you get a certain grade there is no going backward...... all we ask is that our kids try their best. If not, they will never know what potential they could have reached.