Last week Titus and I met up with a few of his classmates and his teacher to watch the movie WONDER. Their class read the book earlier this year, and they wanted to see the movie all together. Obviously I was game for that, I read Wonder a few years ago and loved the story! It was an opportunity to have a nice night out for me and my sweet boy.
Titus is our middle child. He was our baby for a long time and when Zoe came home his role as the “baby” was shifted. He and Zoe compete for attention quite a bit, they are both entertainers, both super funny and both very competitive. All that to say, he doesn’t get a lot of the one on one time or attention he craves. So this was a great opportunity for us.
WONDER is about a little boy with Craniofacial that starts public school for the first time in 5th grade. His family is fiercely protective about his feelings, but they know that this is the right next step for their family. Auggie (the main character) knows that yes, he looks different, and yes, others notice and often stare. But as a family, they just hope that no one will be ugly to him. His family’s life revolves all around him, and at one point in the older sister in the movie says, “My family is the earth and our life revolves around the Sun (son).” That line hit me right in the gut.
A few weeks ago I sat with Titus and Zeke at lunch, surrounded by other friends and parents Titus (my little performer) made a joke, “No one even sees Zeke, or me anymore. They all only see Zoe.” I deflected and joked with him, smiling nervously, while crying inside, “Did he really feel this way?! CRAP!” His little joke replayed in my mind as soon as I heard the sister say that. You see I know the truth, our life was flipped upside down the moment Zoe landed in Texas. Not in a terrible way, but our family shifted. We all started learning a new language, we have seen a whole slew of doctors and specialists, we have had fits and learning curves, and our lives have revolved around a lot of these things.
All the way home I choked back tears while we talked about the movie… what he liked best, how it was different from the book, who our favorite character was, and so on. When we pulled up in our driveway I looked at my second born and confronted all those feelings. “Titus, do you feel like our life revolves around Zoe? Do you sometimes feel invisible? Do you know how much I love you and how special you are to me?” It was a talk that I hated having to have. I cried so much and so did he. We made a deal, “Titus next time you are feeling invisible or really need my attention, put your hands on each side of my face and tell me you need me. I need your help! Ok?!” We hugged and I kissed his sweet face. One of my biggest goals in raising these three kids is that they see me recognize my faults, and see me ask for their forgiveness. If I teach them nothing else I want them to know how to humble themselves, ask for forgiveness and press on. Also I want to teach them to Love God and Love Others but you get me right?!
So why tell you this? Because it’s hard. Mothering three very different kids is tough work. And I guess I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. This is tough, but it matters!