The tears are lurking again. I can feel a weight behind the happiness. I had the realization a couple of days ago that I was only 3 years older than my son is now when I tried to commit suicide for the first time. I felt so grown up, like a very old soul, at the time. But the reality is that I wasn't. I was 12. At 9 I was praying that I wouldn't grow up to be fat like my mom. At 12 I was swallowing pills and truly it seemed like I had endured far more than a measly 12 years of life. At 14 I had begun to starve myself. I felt so old and yet I was really so young.
Thoughts like that scare me about my kids getting older. My son has a crush on a girl at school. He doesn't really understand his feelings, just that they are big feelings. He drew a heart on his leg with their initials drawn in it. He gets all smiley and goofy at the mention of her name. He is growing up. And I am glad he is growing up. I hope his teenage years are much more like his daddy's than like mine. I hope that thoughts of suicide never plague him. I hope his little comments about not needing to lose weight yet, and rarely wanting breakfast before school don't turn to haunt him with a life of ED. I read stories about the Penn State scandal and I pray he never has to understand abuse.
I want the life for him that I didn't have. I want him to know safety and security that I pretended in my mind but didn't think existed when I was his age. I hope when he is a teenager that he doesn't drink until he passes out simply because it hurts to live his life. I hope he tells his wife of fond memories of when he was a child. I hope he smiles at his kids and laughs as much as his daddy does.
I know I can't protect him from all hurt. We all get hurt. Hurt is part of life. I wouldn't want to either, it would be living in a delusion for me and cause even more hurt for him and for me. But that said, I pray his hurts never carry him down a road of self loathing. That they never carry him so far that he forgets he is loved. That they never carry him to needing to cope with the after effects of molestation, eating disorders, or suicidal tendencies. In short, I pray he never has to live my life. I hope so much more for him!