We named Eitan “Eitan” because when I was pregnant he was stubborn. Every time I was put on the monitor, he refused to wake up or move. As soon as the monitor was removed, he’d start to move and do back flips. Eitan from conception has been a child with a mind of his own.

Yoni is my joyous child (well most of the time), he’s the kid that runs from across the school yard with a huge smile to hug you.

Eitan on the other hand is the kid that is so lost in his own little world, that it takes him an hour to cross the school yard, and only after you’ve said “Come On Eitan” about 100 times.  He’s the kid that empties a brand new tube of  toothpaste to see what’s at the end of the tube.  He’s the kid that is constantly correcting my Hebrew, and knows the answer to everything.  It takes telling him 20 times to put on his shoes before he will, and is always forgetting something as we run out the door.

He’s also the kid that you stare at in amazement and say, “Geez, how did I get such a smart kid”.  His mind is an encyclopedia. He reads/looks at the atlas and science books for fun (admittedly, I use to do that too). His ability to retain facts is unbelievable. It’s like listening to Wikipedia on tape.

His mind is extremely logical (unlike mine), and he says exactly what he thinks as he thinks it (exactly like me). His thought patterns are hysterically funny, and he is our constant source of entertainment.  He is also very aware of the world around him, and constantly speaks of performing Mitzvot, helping the old and visiting the sick.  He reminds me that I must be doing something right to have such a generous son.

The last six months have been difficult because I’ve watched this extraordinarily bright child struggle with anger and fear issues. His world has become a world of monsters, sharks, and cancer. These are the things he talks about when he slips into what we refer to as a “Black Mood”, and the other Eitan comes out.

You can literally see it happening, his eyes cloud over, his body gets rigid, and he becomes really really angry. My son turns into somebody I don’t know, and that scares me.

It mostly scares me, because I don’t know how to help him. As the mother, I feel like I should instinctively know how to help my child. When in fact, sometimes you just can’t love a child enough to fix the problem. So yeah, my brilliant six-year-old is going to have to be medicated.

I feel guilty, these are my genes. I joke with friends that the “shtetl”  had a very limited gene pool.  I look at Eitan when he’s upset and think how much of this did I give to him, and how much is because of the separation and divorce.  I feel guilty because as much as I love him, he exhausts me. I feel guilty because I can’t afford to have him treated weekly, only bi-weekly. So much for socialized medicine taking care of the weakest members of society (but that’s a different blog).

Eitan has taught me patience. He has taught me to remain calm, even when I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs “EITAN GET DRESSED” for the 50th time. I love being Eitan’s mother because of all the things I’ve learned about myself through him. I love being Eitan’s mother, because by seeing myself through him I’ve had to change certain behaviors.  The lessons I have learned through being his mother I believe are equally as valuable as the lessons he’s learned from me.

My mother use to say that she loved my sister and I equally, but differently as we each had our own value. I never got that, I get it now.