Charlie loves to play like he is in peril. He pretends to be stuck, can’t reach something or he is falling. I’m pretty sure he gets it from his cartoons, but I do wonder if it has anything to do with me needing help. He sees me get stuck, can’t reach things and even fall.
We were playing outside, and as we were going back into the house, I pretended to be stuck in the door. “Me help you?” He asked. He had gone in front of me so he quickly came to my rescue and tried to pull me into the house. His speech is getting very clear and full of complete sentences. He said, “Mommy it’s too heavy! I can’t pull!” Then, he put his pointer finger in the air and beamed, “I have an idea! I will go the other way!” He ran to the front door, only to find the dead bolt was locked. Now, this dead bolt is typically just beyond his reach, however with his Mommy in need, he dug deep and went onto his very tippy toes and turned the deadbolt! “I’m coming mommy!” What first began as a silly joke, was now a beautiful moment of self-discovery. He ran outside and on his way, yelled over and over, “I’m coming Mommy! I’m coming the other way!” He ran down the sidewalk, around to the yard and onto the lanai. With all of his might, he pushed my wheelchair from behind. “I’m ‘a push you mommy! 1, 2, puuushh!” I gave him a little help, but for the most part, it was all his strength. My sweet little boy pushed me into the house and into safety.
As we both went through the door, Charlie screamed with excitement and accomplishment. He threw his arms in the air and smiled with glee. “I did it, I did it!! I saved Mommy! I pushed Mommy! I did it! Yay!!!” I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I was overwhelmed with such pride in my young child. He recognized need in another person and he found out what he was capable of. His mind was quick to find a solution and his adrenaline kicked in, giving him superhero strength to reach the lock and push my chair.
I’m in such awe of him, and I’m incredibly grateful to experience his accomplishment with him. Allowing myself to just get caught up in the moment and let go has become the best lesson I’ve learned as a parent. Watching him use all of his wit and might to save me, also made me realize it was so much deeper than just that moment. He has saved me over and over. His innocence and pure love of helping others is something you can't plan, it came with the territory of my injury. I'm sure some of his make-believe of being in peril has to do with seeing me in those situations. In some ways it could even be a bit traumatizing for a toddler to see their parent in danger. This thought gives me strength to overcome my limitations, if nothing else than for the sake of Charlie seeing that his Mommy is ok. Better yet, for him to see that no matter how dangerous something may seem, there is always another way.