It's been a long time since a conversation with Nixon has had me in tears, but tonight that's exactly what happened.
Nixon has been struggling. He's been having random mood swings since his cousin left after a visit last month. Anytime Mac or I would ask what's wrong, Nixon would say "I miss J" and start to cry, even if his outburst had nothing to do with J it was always his go-to response.
Tonight I finally stopped and listened to him. I heard what he was saying and let him say it. And it was heartbreaking.
In the past two days, Nixon's also mentioned his other cousin who moved to California earlier this year. He had spent a large amount of time with her as we had been living with her while her mom was out-of-town for military training over a span of two and a-half months.
After an epic meltdown over cleaning up his toys downstairs, Nixon and I went up to his room and we talked. Well, he cried and I held him. Then we talked. He told me he never wanted to make friends. I asked him why and he said "J left and he broke my heart. I miss him.", and my heart broke hearing his 4-year old logic. How do you argue with that?
I didn't argue. It's true. Friends leaving hurts. I know that firsthand.
I told him the truth: Missing someone is part of a greater thing. It means you've got love in your heart for the person you miss and that is amazing! I want you to make as many friends as you want, lots of friends or just a few very special friends like mommy has, but you have to have friends in your life. I want people to see the kind, loving, silly, amazing and wonderful boy I see every day and I want them to want to be in your life. But you have to let them in your heart. It's a risk, but it's worth the risk. Sometimes, your heart will hurt, it's part of life but the best part of life is the strength you get by bouncing back from pains in your heart. Right now, you have good memories of your time with J, hold onto those every time you miss him and you'll feel the love and smile in your heart and the pain of missing him won't be so bad. Making friends here, when you start school, will be better because they'll live here and not far away like J so they won't have to leave and you'll see them at school.
I closed it with: Please, please take the chance and make friends. You're so little and have so much life in front of you to say you won't make friends. Don't let fear stop you from being the brave and wonderful little boy I know you are.
We sat on the floor of his bedroom, he on my lap head lying on my chest, looking at the photo of him and J together. Nixon crying and myself on the verge of tears. Nixon got up and said he needed a tissue, he grabbed the toilet paper roll from the bathroom and brought it to me in his bedroom. I helped him blow his nose and he got into bed.
I came downstairs and told Mac about the conversation. He says "Is he 4 going on 16? He's growing up way too fast!"
Tell me about it, babe, tell me about it.
Tonight was by far the worst night about being so far from family.