A few days ago my son celebrated his 5th birthday. At his current age, he is unable to remember the date of his birth yet, so when we told him that today we were celebrating his birthday, he was super excited! He was born in the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac 🙂
He’s a big fan of Marvel, even though he isn’t sure who EVERYONE is yet, though he knows for sure who is Spider Man, Super Man, Batman, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Captain America is. My influence has been pretty big because from childhood to Motherhood, I loved watching cartoons haha. He also loves candy as much as I do and we’re trying to cut his candy consumption now. Cavities suck and I know it from personal experience 🙂
When he was born 5 years ago, all he had was Myself, my parents, his aunt and uncles. His dad was never a part in his life-save for a mere 2 months when he met him for the first time at 11 months old. After 2 months, he disappeared for good. Good riddance. My son will grow up to have more difficult questions about this, and I will do my best to answer as truthful and honest as possible. Right now, he is focused on learning and growing. That is all I need for him to do. During Mother’s Day and Valentines Day, I teach him to love and respect Women. We go shopping for Mother’s Day flowers for his grandma and great-grandmothers and repeat at Valentines Day. For Father’s Day, we shop for a gift for his grandpa. My dad and his uncle have been the only Father figure he’s had since birth, and I couldn’t be happier.
Pretty soon he will be enrolled in school and we’ll have another adventure together. I remember when I went to school for the first time. I started Kindergarten–I’m not quite sure if “pre-school” was a thing yet. I knew no word of English and cried through the entire week. It was hard because of communication and frustration of attachment anxiety. I was never away from my mother too long and I always thought she was dropping me off and abandoning me. My teachers did their best to help me transition into class, but I wasn’t having it. After one week, with a student aid who was also Cambodian who taught me to understand that my mom was coming back to pick me up and that until then to kill time, I should learn to play with the other children and participate in activities. It was such a big transition for me because of the language barrier but after 3 days of continuously looking at the giant clock and waiting for 3:00 pm for my mom to be here, I finally realized that I wasn’t being abandoned. My mom would come for me every single day 🙂
My son has had 2 major health scares since his birth. When he was 3, we discovered that he had severe iron deficiency anemia. This was because he loved to drink more milk than eat solid food. My mom was aware that his skin looked pale and had dark circles in his eye’s. I just couldn’t see it and didn’t know why. He was my first child and I did not know how to look for signs of illness aside from touching his forehead to look for fevers. I was a lot more inexperienced than I thought. We took him to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he spent the night and had 19 0z of healthy blood transfusion. He didn’t like it of course. During that time, I was back to work full time-in fact, I went back to work after less than a month of leave and experienced my own health scare when Aaron was 9 months old. I was over-worked but I needed to work in order to keep my family moving. That night at the hospital, Aaron did not want my mom to leave because he was so much more accustomed to seeing her face than my own as my parents would watch him while I worked. He had no choice but to have me with him. Helping to soothe his frustration wasn’t easy. He threw up all over me because he cried so much. I started to rock him in my arms and sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as much times as it did to help him relax. I didn’t sleep that night but, that was okay. I stayed up and watched him as he slept and make sure everything was fine.
A little over a year after this, Aaron needed to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. It wasn’t a big deal to hear him snore so loud but, one night he woke up in a state of panic, looking at me in fear and gasping for air. That was when I knew he was suffering from sleep apnea. It happened at least 3 more times until the day of the surgery. That day, for the first time I had to hold my son tight as the nurses covered his nose and mouth with a mask that was administering anesthesia. It haunted me how quickly his arms and legs fell limp but his eye’s were still open, full of tears and looking at me. I cried as they took him away. The operation didn’t take longer than 20 minutes that day. But in those 20 minutes I felt so helpless and anxious to see his face again. The surgery was a success and we went and bought a jug of vanilla ice cream for the healing process. Since then, he rarely suffered from sleep apnea. That was the last surgery he had but ever since then, he has been fearful of doctors offices. This past year taking him to the dentist has been difficult, especially now that they tell me he needs to have a dental procedure in order to have his cavities cleaned, filled and teethe whitened. We are expecting his procedure to happen early this year. Hopefully we will get through this, just as we did with everything in the past. I know for sure that I want to be there for him no matter what and no matter when. I am 5 years experienced in Motherhood, and I have a lifetime to learn.