Monday, September 1, 2014

Neither Cosmic Nor Profound But Definitely Heart-Felt

I got a comment via e-mail today from someone named Rich who said that his wife reads my blog but is too shy to write to me herself so he was writing for her and she told him to be a gent and to introduce himself and so he was and he did and said that he hears about me all the time and sees some of my pictures and even knows who Nicey is.
I was so charmed. I hope that Rich's wife gets over her shyness to tell me what she is thinking, a little about her and Rich's life. I would like that.

It's funny- I so often forget that more people than the ones who comment here read here. I know it must be so but if I never get to hear their voice at all, I cannot possibly know except through the dry bones of analytics and stat counters and I rarely check those at all. So let me just say- if anyone ever wants to comment but feels shy, to please not feel so shy, to let me know you're there. It means more than you can know.

My boys came this afternoon for a little while. Well, actually, I went and picked them up because Lily was having a bit of car trouble. Owen is having a very large problem with school. After the first few days of loving it and being excited to go, he suddenly did a complete 180 and dreads it with a horrible ferocity. He starts crying the night before and says he doesn't want to leave his mama and the mornings are a nightmare for them both. The teachers report that as soon as she leaves, he is okay, fine, lovely, and when Lily picks him up he is happy and reports having had a good time. But something is going on and it's breaking our hearts. When I say "something" I don't mean at the school. I mean in his own little incredibly wise and sensitive head. He tries so hard to logically figure it out. He says, "I have a good time and I don't know why I feel this way."
He is sincere. He is not just being dramatic.
Today he told me a bit sadly that one day they did have peanut butter cookies and that was good.

Oh Lord. I thought that my heart could never ache any more than it did for my own children when they were having problems when they were young whether at school or during difficult transitions or with anything and whatever they were going through which was overwhelmingly difficult and they ALL went through something at one stage or another (and another and another) and I wanted to solve all of their problems and I wanted them to be happy, always, and contented and feel safe and good about themselves and their lives. Children feel things so very deeply and I know that because I remember and they so often feel as if they can't say their true fears out loud and sometimes they just can't because they themselves don't even know and really, aren't we all like that, even as grown-ups, as parents, as grandparents, as human beings?
I thought that my heart could not ache any more than it did then though, as I said, but let me tell you- it can. It does.
I want so badly to tell Lily that it's okay, he doesn't have to go to Pre-K but I know that's not the answer. It's three hours a day and he needs to learn a little bit of structure. He needs to play with other children. He needs to know that he can leave his mama or his daddy or his grandmothers or his grandfather and go into a very safe and loving place with other people for just those few hours a day but then part of me wonders...why?

I am too tenderhearted. I know that. And I love these children so much. They are the most loving and they are smart and they are kind. Owen told me today that if I cried, he would help me get the tears back in.
Just to write that out makes the tears flow and he is not here and I do not care to get them back in. Let them flow.

We had a good time today, those boys and I. Boppy cut a door and I cut a window into the box-house and we had several parties in there. Jessie was there too (in our imaginations) and Gibson and I laid down and had a little nap together (in our imaginations) and Owen ate a bowl of popcorn in there (for real) while Gibson was napping. And I sat on a footstool and blew bubbles into the window for them and they went wild, WILD I tell you! flailing at the bubbles and laughing until I thought they would burst. Owen loves his Boppy's new chair and praised its softness, it's smell.  Gibson fell asleep, leaning on me as we sat on the couch and I gently lowered him to a pillow where he napped.

They are gone now. I've gotten the clothes off the line, folding them as I do into the basket and I've put them away. I've tidied up. Mr. Moon is on his way to Orlando and it will be me and Maurice tonight. Tomorrow I am going to a feed store to buy scratch and a new waterer. I am inordinately excited about this. There was a wreck at the intersection near my house this afternoon before the boys got here. I was putting coffee grounds on the ferns on the front porch when I heard the horrible screeching of brakes, that interminable tenth of a second and then the impact. I grabbed my phone and went down there, less than a block away and no one was hurt, there were no children. I offered my house for anyone who needed water or anything after being reassured that no one was injured, that all was well, and I came home and was so grateful that it had been no worse than it had been.

Are you okay? I want all of us to be okay. I want that so much. I want us all to be able to get up in the morning and be fine with what is before us. I want all of the babies to know they are loved and that they are safe and that they can peacefully fall asleep against a loving grandmother's breast, her old, soft arm tucked around them. And none of my wishes are worth any more than a candle's flame in the dark. Probably less.
I think will go light a candle. I feel the need to make wishes visible as the sun sets and the crickets sing it to bed in a great humming chorus which sounds from where I sit as if it fills the world.

It fills my world.



  1. Oh, I remember the days sitting outside the pre-K classroom door. My son was such a tender-hearted little person. But it helped him. It took time, and some people made fun of me, and I'm sure many of them thought I wasn't tough enough. But I knew my son and what he needed. And now he is a wonderful tender-hearted man.

    Their pain is always our pain, isn't it? And so often they can't put words to what they are feeling or even understand it, as Owen pointed out.
    Right now I'm reading "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and her pain is so hard to bear. We need more gentleness in the world.

  2. Bless that sweet boy's heart. He'll come out the other side soon enough I think. In the meantime he's making the hearts of humans across the globe clutch with his grandmother's words.

    Perhaps there will be peanut butter cookies tomorrow...

  3. Sylvia- So much so that I can't tell you how deeply I agree with you. LIly herself had a hard time leaving me for early school. Yes. Our babies' pain is always our pain and as much as want to protect them from all of it, we simply cannot.

  4. Jill- Oh. You have given my heart such hope.

  5. Aw, tender sweet babies..! I sent one of my boys to school down the road, we walked, it was lovely! The school closed halfway through his second grade...we have kept him home ever since. Both of us were bullied at school, and had bought this house so we could send our kids to the small (Waldorf) school down the hill, but we could not afford to move , or do the long drive to the schools new location...So our #2 has never gone to school and every once in a while we sit together and wonder at his unique self, this child and his ways, as he unfolds and grows as simply himself, and we know that it is good. Doubts are had, family opinions are borne, but we cannot all live the same story or come from the same place... Owen already shows his uniqueness and has a supportive family behind him, he will not lose his shine, you will all see to that! hugs, Vermont... oh, and I have marveled at the faces of your sweet boys this past week or do, they are becoming more (themselves?) as they grow,it is amazing to watch!

  6. "I am too tenderhearted." Oh, dear Ms. Moon. Please don't say that. It is not true. In my opinion, the rest of the world isn't tenderhearted enough. I love you the way you are.

    As for Owen. This makes me sad. Have you ever looked into the Highly Sensitive Child? I was a Highly Sensitive Child and now a Highly Sensitive Adult. My guess is he is just a little undone with changes. Kind of like Christmas. It is so much fun at first but by the end of the day you are tired and ready to take the tree down. Pre-K is fun but now it is a little overwhelming. Which would explain why he doesn't understand why he is not enjoying it. Please keep us posted on how it is going. For now, I am sending all of you love and light.

  7. I feel for Owen. I loved school until fourth grade and had a teacher who wasn't charmed by me. Anyway, I had feelings of dread about going to school and remember that no one seemed sympathetic about my anxiety. I got over it. But I think people are able at a very young age to intuit situations that make them uncomfortable. I hope that Owen will be his happy go lucky self again soon.

  8. I want to comment on every single word of this but just can't even get my words together. I love it all. Love Rich emailing you, love you understanding Owen so well and love that we--yes we--have all thad the privilege of watching those boys grow up from little thoughts in baby heaven to talking people with ideas and feelings. Man! I remember when Gibson burst onto the scene in that water birth and how excited we all were. And Owen getting his first words. Yes, all of it.

    I love that I found this blog and you. I still have no idea how it happened. But damn, I'm glad it did.

  9. Oh, my Oliver had such a time getting used to preschool, and then he adored it. I think Owen will, too. I do wonder, though, why we do these things and why we think they're the right thing to do or at the very least what "you just do." Sigh. This was, again, the sweetest of posts.

  10. I think if Owen doesn't want to go, he shouldn't have to. Seriously, what is lost if he skips or waits a year?
    I was also hypersensitive and my earliest memory is that fear of my mother leaving me. I never overcame it.

  11. After reading this I feel like you have given me the most satisfying of hugs. Thank you. And here is one for you. xx

  12. Maybe a little ritual, or a small transition object will let Owen know he will be fine? A small rock in his pocket that has been kissed by his mom or gran?

  13. I went to a Katy Perry concert tonight, I think I'm scarred for life.
    Your words are like a balm, Mary.

  14. Aww, poor Owen. It's funny that he struggles and yet doesn't know why. I guess it's natural for a child to resist leaving their parents and home, even for a short time, even if they KNOW they'll be safe and cared for. You're right -- it's the best thing for him. It's what he needs to do.

  15. I had a rough time entering kindergarten myself. Of course, the fact that it was in a new-to-me-country where nobody in the class including the teacher spoke English might have had something to do with it. It did get better. It will get better for Owen. I send virtual hugs. Here is a nice definition of grief from "The Grief Recovery Handbook" (John W. James and Russell Friedman). "Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior."

  16. we're ok.

    Owen will be too. Tell him I'm sure of it. And please buy him this wonderful book xx

  17. oh my. it's so true. my heart aches just reading about Owen's fear and courage. That he is trying so hard to figure things out and verbalizing all this just shows what a bright child he is. My heart goes out and embraces yours and his.

  18. Big Mamabird- I admire you truly for homeschooling your sweet boy. I am just afraid that none of us in this family are up for that task. I do believe that it is the best answer sometimes.
    And yes, the boys are growing so quickly. Changing so rapidly. That sort of breaks my heart too.

    Angella- You as much as anyone has a tender heart concerning her babies. I know you understand.

    Birdie- Thank you SO much. For your love and your words.

    Syd- I was bullied at school horribly for many reasons and so I am probably projecting too much in this situation to have much objectivity. Childhood can just be so hard.

    Gradydoctor- I am so glad too! I think I may have found you through Smacksy. Now how did you get to her? So funny how these little pathways manage to lead us to each other.
    Lily didn't have a water birth- just a home birth. Gibson was born too quickly to fill up the bathtub, much less a birthing pool! But it was such a lovely birth and I love that so many people know our children and care about them. It's a precious thing. And so are you. Well, you're not a thing but you know what I mean.

    Elizabeth- My heart feels so tender these days. I am glad to hear that Oliver came to love his pre-school. Gives me great hope.

    Rubye Jack- I know a lot of his problem is that he has never, in his whole life, been taken care of by anyone but a close relative. Well, with the exception of church nursery. We shall see how it goes in the next few weeks. I had such a fear of my mother leaving me too. And have had to deal with issues of fear of abandonment my whole life.

    Joan- Thank you!

    Elsewhere- We tried that. It didn't help much. It's a good idea though.

    heartinhand- WTF? Why? Was it fun?

    Steve Reed- All of the feelings, none of the skills and experience. That's what being a child is like. It's just damn hard.

    sarah- Excellent definition of grief. Thank you.

    Jo- I am glad you're okay. And as for the book- it looks darling. Now- could I get Owen to look at it? Probably not. Dang that child.

    Yobobe- We who are sensitive can't help but know what it's like and we know it's so very hard.
    Thank you. I have missed you! How are you all?

  19. God I am so sorry to hear about Owen. We are trying to remember with poor Indy that the first week is a very emotional time. The change in routine is so hard to adjust to. I was ready to whisk her out and do SOMETHING different but we're giving it a couple weeks to let her adjust and then see what happens. I hope Owen is just needing to adjust and that things get easier for him and his poor mama, and you, really soon. What a sweet child. My lord.

  20. Ah, I'm a tenderhearted one too. When I'm not being snarky, that is.
    Oh, but I do cry and cry. The slightest thing can trigger that.
    My grand darlings started their school year, the first couple days have been exciting. Grand girl does super well, Grand Boy has some struggles though. They keep charts now, daily reports, RED days... grrr. The GREEN days are so much nicer. The constant monitoring must be hard. So many rules.

    How nice that you got that email. I get away from my blog sometimes... but it sure is cool to log in and see comments when I do post.
    I actually did think of you... yes, YOU, this morning as I was uploading a photo. Veggies from my husband's garden. I think because I mentioned we had one in another comment.

    Happy day wishes. :)


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