>"Can I go with you?"

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Lately, Gabriel has developed a new intensity.  Some of that is just standard issue three year old boundary testing.   However, it occurred to me, today (because I am a slow study) that part of this intensity is actually different from my other kids when they were three.  There is an undercurrent of intensity to his relentless pursuit to “go.”  He wants to go.  Everywhere. Nothing makes him happier or can get a grin and a jig out of him faster than being told, “You bet, let’s go.”
We’ve all been thinking that it is just “going” for the minor adventures that are “going” places in our busy days.  But, as I drove today to Sarah’s school for a class project (Living museum, very cute), I was stewing about Gabey and his kind of desperate begging to “Go with you.”  Especially when it comes to myself and his dad, Gabey is desperate to go.  With us.  Anywhere.  Everywhere. 
Today it finally dawned on me, and you could argue that I’m overstating it, but my gut thinks otherwise.  Knows better.  Gabey IS desperate to “Go.” He has a much more intense need to go with us, beyond your standard three year old desire to go and be with their parents.  His is different.  His is, after all, an adoption remnant.  It’s very easy to think that he’s been  home two years now, and thus he is over all his adjustment.  I know better.  But even so, daily life sweeps a lot of latent stuff off the radar.  That’s just how it plays…until it smacks you upside the head or you run into a wall.  {Well, in  my house, that’s how it plays…we’re a fast moving place.}  
This need has a root. 
Gabriel was left.  
He was left at eleven months. 
It wasn’t just being left on the side of the road.  
But he was taken to an orphanage, in a planned relinquishment by his great uncle.  
Goodbyes were said.  
And he was left.  
And he was old enough to not understand. 
Not even a little. 
But old enough to be confused and scared and missing his family.
And I can see in his pictures from that time how closed his face was. 
The immediate shock of that event is submerged by those pics, maybe, but it still shows.  
 
It’s so easy to forget that he experienced that. And it imprinted.  And it’s deep and it’s primal.  A primal scar.  And sometimes, I see a glimpse of it, when he cries out in his sleep, “Don’t leave me!” Or, when, now, every day, he clings and grasps and holds on and says, “Can I go with you?”  He will say it twenty times in a row, he does not want to take no for an answer.  Sometimes we have to say no. 
But now, as I realize what is under that relentless questioning desire and need, I am saying more often, “Yes. You betcha.”  
And then I get this, the sweetest smile on the sweetest face.  
And my heart swells right up to my own grin.   
 “Yes, my Gabey, you can go with me.  Forever.”

10 thoughts on “>"Can I go with you?"

  1. >Oh Michelle, thanks for the reminders. Abeba's "scars" surface too, just in different ways. She hates rejection….whenever she is told "no" or when she is hurt in someway (she thinks that it is our fault). I must remember also just what this gal has been through. It is difficult and frustrating at times for sure, but we must always remember and reassure!!!Blessings! Melissa

  2. >I can understand this. I was just a child of divorce, but after my father left, I didn't let my mother out of my sight for a year. When I had to go to school, my mother spent the first few days at the back of the classroom so that I could adjust…I don't think food and water matter as much to a child as a sense of security.

  3. >oh yes. this is just like my sammy. he knows. he wants to be with his mama, at all times, and i love that. i'm totally, 100% grateful for that. sweet boys with deep needs. we are so lucky that we get to be their mamas.

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