I was supposed to release my book today. The story starts June 15, 2013. I thought it would be cool to release it exactly five years after the story started. I decided not to to it today because it is Aiden’s 9th Birthday. I wanted today to be his day, not mine.
This past year hasn’t been easy on him. Ben moved away to school and he was missing the special connection he has with his Dad. It took me way too long to figure out was happening.
While Ben was away Aiden would sleep with me each night. Aiden would read and I would work on my book. One night in November I started to feel guilty that I was spending so much time on it. I shut the computer and just looked at Aiden while he read. I wished I had the connection that he had with Ben. I liked happy colors, they like dark colors. I like the hero’s in the movies, they like the villains. I like love movies, they like scary movies. I couldn’t find a connection and I could tell it was taking a toll on him.
I got out of bed. As I was walking downstairs, I saw all of the artwork that Aiden had made over the years hanging on the walls. I looked at the bright beautiful pictures with the colors I love so much and thought “this is it, this is our connection!”
The next morning I excitedly took a snapshot of each one of his pictures. I decided to make a book just for him. It would include of all of his pictures that he made for me. The book would be OUR connection. He would surely feel loved!
I worked on it nonstop the next week. I decided to title it “What Makes Me Happy”. It was a game that Aiden and I played over the years. We take turns telling each other what makes us happy. I labeled each of his pictures with things that I always tell him make ME happy. I listed myself as the author and Aiden as the illustrator. Surely he would love this more than anything!
I was so proud of my accomplishment that I showed everyone what I was doing. It turned out better that I could have hoped and I wanted to share it with everyone!
I told him that I made him a book for Christmas and he was so excited and couldn’t wait to see it. Christmas Eve we had a house full of people. I tapped Aiden on the shoulder and asked if he wanted to go upstairs and open his book…just him and I. He got a big smile in his face and ran upstairs.
We sat on the couch facing each other crisscross. This was going to be a special moment between us that we would never forget. I held the book in my hands and smiled. He excitedly grabbed it and opened it. When he saw the front he didn’t show the joy that I had hoped to see. He opened it up and flipped through the pages and his spirit faded. He laid the book down put his head on the pillow as he turned away from me.
I asked him if he didn’t like it and he sighed “not really”. Disappointed, I said “Aiden, that was rude!” He replied “what do you want me to do…lie?” I asked why he didn’t like it. He told me that I didn’t get any of it right. He told me that the pictures he drew weren’t what I thought they were.
I explained how it was so cool because it was all of HIS pictures and it was the game WE always played. I ensured him that I loved him so much and this was my way of showing him. He didn’t get it. He went back downstairs and I sat in my room and cried. I didn’t understand.
I text my best friend Samantha and told her of the disaster. She asked me if I did it to make ME happy instead of HIM. She was right. I was trying to make myself feel better not him. I looked at it from my point of view instead of from his. It should have been titled “what makes YOU happy”.
Ok God, my eyes are opened. I will try to look at things through a different set of eyes. My happy isn’t everyone else’s happy.
So today I asked Aiden to grab the book. He said “I don’t even know where it is”. Lol. He eventually found it and I told him I was going to read it. He seemed interested and sat down beside me. He read it aloud and laughed as he told me everything I got wrong. He even joked that he was going to go to the “mom store” to get a different mom. Lol
Almost every single page was wrong. There was only one page I got right. The self portrait of him labeled “Aiden makes me Happy”. When we were finished he got up and declared he was doing his chores so he could go play fortnight. On his was downstairs he looked at me, turned around, came over and smiled. He then leaned in and wispered in my ear “I’m not going to the Mom store, ever”. I replied “I’m never letting you!”
Happy Birthday Aiden, I love you you just the way you are!