I've said this before...I'll say it again. I love our children. Like...I love them. Each one very unique from the others. Love.
He has such a huge piece of my heart. And he needs every bit of it.
From the moment I saw his face...my heart hurt for him.
Today...at 6.5 years old...it hurts more.
He's such a beautiful boy. He shines. He's funny. He's witty. He's cute.
But most people don't see that. Simply because they can't understand him. Yes...he was born with a double whammy against his speech. A child born with a severe cleft lip and palate has a huge speech struggle. A child born with complete single sided deafness has a huge speech struggle. A child born with both...? That's Azlan.
Sunday for the second time in a row he said "can I sit with you in church?" we said yes. After church the other kids were playing and Azlan came and sat on the couch.
He was very quiet. Un-Azlan.
He finally said "I don't know if I'll ever have a friend. A real friend. Someone that understands me and wants to play with me."
He said he doesn't want to go to sunday school anymore.
And then...he sat there...put his hands up to his face...and started to cry.
I looked at Dean and I was fighting the tears.
He said "I try to talk clearly, I really do and I try to hear them...but I can't".
The realization that he is different from the others is hitting. And my heart broke.
We had a good heart to heart talk to him about friends. And one of those points is that you don't become so desperate for a friend that you have a friend that is mean to you. And bullies you. We have seen Azlan laugh as others have made fun of him...because at least they are talking to him. No. No you don't pay that price for a 'friend'.
Mommy and Azlan went out on a date.
It was the perfect date.
We went to a pottery studio. He got to pick out his piece, which was instant. He didn't hesitate. He knew right aways. He made a bee-line to it.
It was a lion.
"I'm a lion. I love Aslan the lion. I have to get a lion".
What a great namesake to have. Aslan the Lion gives his mommy chills every time I see a picture.
I see power. Strength. Honor. Humility.
I see Jesus.
I love Azlan's name. I love Azlan.
He picked a lion. We sat at a small table by ourselves and we painted. He's a total perfectionist. Total. It was done perfectly. He's only 6. When he made a mistake he was crushed that it wouldn't be perfect. We talked about how 'imperfections' are what make us so wonderful.
I told him I loved the smudge on his lion. Because it made me think of how he's different from others. Special. Unique.
We paid for the lion and Azlan said good bye to Aslan as we will pick him up next week, fired and glazed.
We walked away holding hands.
We went into Gymboree. I asked him if he wanted to pick out something for the baby. He didn't hesitate. He knew EXACTLy what he wanted. And the bib was very important. And so were the shoes. And the hat would not do. He picked the head band b/c the hat "may make people think she's a boy and she's not. She's a girl". He wanted the blanket too. And since it was all 60-70% off? Why not. He said he cannot wait to see her wearing it and hold her wearing it because he picked it out.
Then we went to froyo. He loaded up his treat in all kinds of normally forbidden goodies. We found a table and we sat and ate. And talked.
He said he felt so special today and that the date was the best one yet.
When we got home I made dinner and I went to the pantry to clean. He left the table and for the first time...ever...he said "I can heat my food later...I want to help you. You have a baby in your belly...you shouldn't be working this hard. Can I do it?" and I looked at him to make sure he wasn't Zion (that's a Zion thing, not a Azlan thing) and said I promise that I'm ok. He said "no I can eat cold food. I just want to be with you.".
I have tears in my eyes just typing this out. I love that boy. And yes...life is about to get harder for him. Because now he's older. He's more aware. He can feel the pain. He knows he's different.
And he knows. 100% that he is no mistake. That I would move heaven and earth just for him.
I love that boy.
He has my heart.