|Aiden and his mentor|
After I finished singing his praises, he said something that broke my heart and confirmed the fact that I know he needs male mentors... all at the same time.
"But... how about if I see my father and he doesn't recognize me anymore and he doesn't know who I am so he ignores me?"
Deep, deep, sigh.
I responded. The best way I knew how. With love and understanding and compassion and all the praises that I could muster up in three sentences.
"Aiden, your father could never forget you or who you are because you are amazing. Everyone who meets you -- even if it's just one time -- remembers you. People are so blessed and lucky to know you. And they don't forget you."
But I can't replace his father.
Aiden's other parent has chosen to not be apart of his life, and I know that as his mother, I can not completely fill the void that may result because of this. I can teach Aiden that the world is filled with different types of family structures; I can make sure he knows that he is loved and cherished; I can make sure that he gets a damn good education; I can make certain that he's well-read and well-traveled and that his weekends are filled with swimming and soccer and kid-friendly outings. And I can work hard and go get my dream (and dream job!) in order to pay for all of these things.
But... I can't replace his father.
What I can do is set him up with a few awesome male mentors and role-models who love him and care about him and want what's best for him. Just like I do.
He needs it so badly.
And, for the past few months he's been spending more and more time hanging around my friend, doing "boy" things. He's gone with Aiden on different outings around the city; he's been watching Aiden play soccer and teaching him how to keep his head in the game; he's been talking to him about how to be a team player; he's been teaching him how to keep pushing -- even when he feels like giving up; he's been showing him why it's important to listen and follow directions and set high goals.
And Aiden has taken to him like a fish to water.
They click. And I know it's because Aiden needs it -- a mentor, a role model, someone he looks up to teach him more about this thing called life. Everyday I'm reminded of this more and more, and I'm determined to it that Aiden gets the mentors that he needs.