There's something I wish I could tell him. This child of mine with his young soul that wrecks me by it's beautiful presence in my life. There's is something he needs to know:
Mommy is broken.
I know he's too young to understand the complexities of that statement--and I wouldn't have him bear that burden anyway--but I feel that he deserves some sort of explanation. Because maybe in the precious innocence of his young mind he's wondered what's wrong with me lately. Perhaps he's tried to figure out why I was sobbing into Daddy's arms (again). Or why I can't play with him because I'm too tired . Or why I yelled at him. I know, I'm so sorry. It scared me too.
First, he needs to know that Mommy never wanted to be this way. It shatters my spirit that I can't be perfect for him. He deserves that. Big words like antepartum depression and sin nature are terms he can't understand so, I'll just say what I said before: Mommy is broken.
Yes, I am broken and I need help.
Sometimes that means his Grandma comes over to clean the house and play cars with him. Sometimes that means Mommy has to ask him for a big word called 'forgiveness'. Sometimes that means Mommy cries a lot and can't tell anyone why.
But it never means that I'm going to stop fighting back the darkness for his sake.
It never, ever means that I don't love him.
One day he's going to grow up and discover the uncomfortable truth that he doesn't have it all together. He's going to realize, like I did, that he's not perfect. And that, in fact, it's impossible for him to ever reach the unattainable goal of perfection. I don't want him to fear this.
My prayer for him is that he doesn't run from his humanness. I pray he doesn't construct a mask and hide behind it. May he never be ashamed to admit the one truth everyone has to come to terms with: we're all broken. No one escapes this. No one gets a free pass to never making mistakes or suffering the consequences of a fallen world.
I'm broken and so is he. And that's ok.
I want him to know now what I wish I known a long time ago: that humbling yourself and saying the following three, life giving words will heal him more than hiding ever will.
"I need help."
Trust me when I say that it's alright to need help; to be on the receiving end of being offered grace. This is a beautiful thing. Because when you admit you need help because of your brokenness you get to discover how loved you really are.
The other day I had to explain to him why I was staying home from the grocery trip Dad was taking him on to give me a break.
"You comin' wif us?" he asked with eyes peering into mine like blue moons.
"No." I said simply, not able to explain to that my depression had won that day and why I really needed rest. "Mommy is staying home."
He kept staring right into my face and perhaps he saw the heaviness there because then he asked, "You sad? You cryin'?"
I knew then that he'd had put it all together in his own little way and it broke me. I couldn't stop the tears from really coming then. I never wanted him to see your mother like this.
But maybe it's a good thing after all.
Maybe the fact that he's see how broken I am can also show him how I'm not able to do this alone; how no one can do life alone. The truth is, I can't live without grace, without love. And, as painful as it is to reveal, it ultimately proclaims for all to see--and especially to my child--how desperately I need Jesus.
I might not want him to see me this way but, if it shows him how God's love really does conquer all, then it's worth it. If it shows him that sometimes the strongest thing he can do is admit how weak he is, well then, I believe my battle with depression isn't in vain.
And so, I thank God for gift of this burden and for Him giving me Behr to be reminded of why I carry it. I'm never giving up and he's the reason I have hope to keep bravely walking forward.