“Say, Elijah! I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday! Ha-ha!”..said in my best Mickey Mouse voice. Maybe a slight laugh from him in response. As we approach the sidewalk and it’s time to let him go for the day: “Alright, bud. Love you.” No response. Not a nod, not a wave. Nothing.
As I watch him all the way to the door, I check him in my head to make sure he’s good. “Did you grab your backpack? Your water? Your lunchbox? Got the right shoes? Did you like your outfit today? Are you feeling ok? Did you need to talk more?” Maybe it’s my memories of school mornings triggering anxiety in myself that makes me this way. But I see over and over again that’s he’s different than me. That he’s ok. That he’s enjoying himself in all things.
Bud, i’m so glad you don’t say bye.
I’m glad you don’t need my watch to feel safe. You know, I asked for my dad’s every day. It never helped.
I’m glad you see what you truly need.
I’m glad you are eager to see your friends.
I’m glad you are motivated like you are.
I’m glad you can go to new places without me.
I’m glad you can say you don’t want pictures or attention.
I’m glad you know your worth isn’t based on pleasing others.
I’m glad you are so considerate.
I’m glad you are the same around everyone.
I’m glad you are so confident.
I’m glad you don’t think you have to fulfill me.
I’m glad I don’t need you to.
I’m glad you don’t say bye.