Today was a new introductions day as we visited family, about 3 hours away. As life is so impossibly busy during December we tend to catch up with the in-laws and my brother and sister towards the end of November. They all live relatively close to each other.
This would be the first meeting of my husbands mum, dad and sister and her family.
What is so lovely about child 4 is the way he welcomes people into his life, I am so very aware that many of his behaviours are probably linked to his unsettled start in life, so watching him interact with people tends to give me mixed feelings. Many of those he meets comment on how wonderful it is that he "goes to anyone" that he holds up those chubby toddler arms for a cuddle and he chuckles and laughs to encourage those around him to communicate with him, they are totally unaware that this is probably a survival instinct, he needs to be sure that everyone likes him so that they will take care of him. I sit there unable or unwilling to educate them as they are so over the moon that he so obviously likes them and wants to be with them, to explain why he is the way he is will detract from those moments of acceptance and so I invariably hold my tongue, keeping that nugget of sorrow to myself, after all it is better that everyone views him as an open, affectionate child rather than one who could potentially have deep seated issues with attachment.
For me as his mother, I always have that niggling concern when I watch these behaviours that he may never fully attach to me, he may view me as his main care giver at the moment but I am not sure that he views me as his mummy, after all he hasn't really ever had a mummy in the way that his three new older siblings have. I sometimes wish I knew what was going on in his head, so that I could help him to really understand that he belongs to us and we belong to him forever, these are all things that cannot be explained to a two year old, only shown hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and so on and on.
Maybe I will always carry the joy and sorrow that I often feel as I watch him grow, I can only hope and have faith that I and the rest of our family will be able to provide him with everything that he needs. And that at some point he will understand that the love we hold for him is unconditional and everlasting.