There are things that I do in front of Roan that I wouldn’t do in front of anyone else. Nothing too horrible, but still, things that I’d probably be mortified if anyone else saw them. For instance, if he needs to speak to me exactly when I’m in the bathroom, he doesn’t think twice about swinging the door open and firing that conversation up right then and there. There is no one else allowed to do that. He’s also witnessed burps, though I’ve had to put the kibosh on that because it caused way too much laughter which can only lead to manners-training trouble in the future. Roan gets to hear me sing my heart out, and though I know I’ve got no sense of pitch or key, I belt songs out regularly for him.
In fact, a dirty little secret: I know most of the lyrics to most of the songs by Hall & Oates. Roan has become accustomed to hearing “OOooh here she comes…” and gives very little response other than a slightly affected eye-roll. I live for the possibility that one day I will hear him follow-up, “….watch out boy she’ll chew you up….” But it makes me happy to sing, and it makes me happy that my poor song choices and off-pitch warbling will not impact how much Roan likes being around me.
There’s more: he’s my confidante when I’m helping at his school lunch. Last week when I was there, a child freaked out over some territory issue and began a full-on melt-down and made me fear that his head was going to peel away to reveal a demon. While I was trying to contain his tantrum I broke away and whispered in Roan’s ear, “This kid is making me tired” to which he smiled and whispered back, “Me too!” And while it did occur to me that perhaps commiserating with my son was not the most adult and diplomatic thing to do, it did give me the break and energy to get back to the possessed child and help him get to a better place.
I don’t know how it is with other children. Roan is my only experience having a child. And maybe this isn’t universal so I wonder – do you do things in front of your children you won’t do in front of others? Do you receive this kind of unconditional love from anyone else? Do you have it for anyone else? And also: how cool is it being accepted for who you are, regardless if you’re on the toilet or not?