Then this morning Pollito got up and gave me his usual good morning greeting "Buenos Dias. Did you sleep good mom?" I replied that I was still tired and responded in my usual fashion "Buenos Dias mijo, did you have any dreams?" He said he had a happy dream (he usually has several nightmares each night or doesn't remember his dreams) so I asked him to tell me about it. He said "There was you and me and we were walking in the flowers." "What else?" I asked. He was quiet for a bit and then responded "And... and... I just loved you sooooo much and I could feel it mom!" I asked how it felt and he said "Like LOVE mom!!!!" What more could I ask for?
Later today Tortuga and Pollito's mother called. I missed the call but made a point to try to return it as soon as I had a chance. She wasn't able to talk then so we made plans to speak tomorrow. She sent greetings to the boys so I shared them with Tortuga. He asked why she hadn't been able to talk and I said I wasn't sure but she said it was her medication and maybe it was making her tired. He got a disturbed look on his face and said he didn't want me to talk about it and that he didn't want to speak with her tomorrow. I was puzzled so I inquired about what exactly he didn't want me to discuss. He responded that he was "guilty" and "embarrassed" when he thought about her. I asked him to elaborate and his elaboration didn't quite match his earlier word choices. We consulted a dictionary and after going through a couple of different word options (he has lots of language based challenges so often struggles to find the right words for what he means) he suddenly exclaimed "This is it mom! I am ashamed!" I was a bit stunned. He went on to explain that he was ashamed and embarrassed by his mother because of all the things she couldn't do and how she treated him and his brothers. My heart just about broke. I didn't want to negate his feelings but I was concerned about this sense of shame. I asked him to consider why he might ashamed of her but also how understanding her cognitive and emotional difficulties could change his feelings about this. He was puzzled for a moment and then asked me if I was ashamed of his mother. I couldn't quite understand what he meant but I said no I was not ashamed by yer and that while she made many mistakes and did things to hurt them (he has lots of memories about this) I didn't think it was all her fault. I said that I also believe that she has always done the best she could and if we cannot respect people for their best efforts then what can we respect them for. He got very quiet for a minute and then said "I never thought about that mom. I always thought she didn't try her best but now I think maybe she did try hard and it didn't work." I waited and he didn't say anything else about it and changed topics. As we were saying goodnight he said "Mom, I thought about what you said and I don't think I should be ashamed of her. If she calls tomorrow maybe I will want to talk to her. Will you ask me if she calls?" I replied that I certainly would.