My eight year old son has always had a hard time showing emotion. It's not that he's not joyful, or sad, or mad, or hurt or excited he just keeps all those feelings very close to his heart. Displaying those emotions publicly makes him feel out of control. Don't get me wrong he can act a fool or laugh until his stomach hurts but most of the time our immediate family are the only ones privy to seeing that side of him. The thing that is hardest as a mom who constantly needs affection is trying to figure out how to comfort someone who still needs to be comforted but doesn't really like to be hugged or snuggled with. Mark and I always know when he needs a little TLC because he will climb in the recliner with Mark and sit very close to him for a bit. After 30 minutes or so he's good to go. He doesn't display affection at all and gets uncomfortable when we try to hug him. And you can just forget about giving that kid kisses. When he was a toddler he would 'act out' meaning hit me or someone else if he got embarrassed or felt helpless. Now that he's older his 'acting out' means using a hurtful word, or talking back or making me question my discipline. My Ryan keeps parenting interesting and some days I do way better than others. It's hard to parent him because he can out think me in a second, and he remembers EVERYTHING! Our Maker made Ryan very unique in every way. He's super smart, introspective, thoughtful, kind and sensitive to others. He's also all boy and very competitive in sports, board games and well basically anything that can be a competition. He's constantly processing everything and we have to ask a lot of questions to make sure we know what's going on in that brain of his. One of the things that has been the hardest for me is that after he turned four he rarely says, "I love you." I know he does and I know that sometimes he's bursting to say it, but we don't hear those sweet words from him. Mark tucks him in every night and every night he tells him, "I love you buddy." Ryan's answer is always,"me too". I see the struggle in him. We're a LOT alike and I know his fears, and experienced them as a kid too. I hate fear the power it holds.
On the last day of second grade Ryan brought home his prayer journal from school. I didn't read it until a few weeks later but when I did I couldn't stop crying. Every week his class would write out their prayer requests and their memory verse for the week. Then they prayed these requests aloud and would also write down any praises. Every week you know what my amazing child prayed for...ME. His mom, who was pregnant and miserable and a lot of days very unkind. This is the thing that makes me cry. In every single journal entry my Ryan and his entire class was praying for me. The way that affected me is hard to write or explain. He knew I needed extra prayer. That's the thing about Ryan. He's genuine. He never told me he was praying for me every day, he just did it. every. single. day. I was sobbing reading this the first time and each time I open this journal the tears flow.