Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh, You Know the Adage

“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” - Fred Rogers

I saw an opportunity to take a 5 minute shower while my son ate GF toast slathered with sweet almond butter.  I asked him to finish eating then brush his teeth so that I could drive him to his beloved nature camp.  I inhaled deeply and nearly lost myself in those 300 seconds. 

He saw an opportunity to take a 5 minute shower of his own.  He poured his milk into a saucer and exhaled deeply blowing bubbles with a straw.  He nearly lost himself in those 300 seconds.

Toweling off quickly, I jumped into my drawstring pants and tee-shirt then padded downstairs stopping abruptly at the bottom step.  All I could see in that moment was a small white pond that trickled downward to the chair before pooling on the floor below, soaking both the place mat and seat cushion. 

My heart sank in a puddle of milk.

Then I came up for air.

"After camp you can wash the place mat and the seat cushion", I said wondering if the span of a wash cycle and dry cycle before playing with friends would make any sense.

He started to cry - "I'm sorry...I forgot...but I like making bubbles" - in rapid fire then launched his new improved artillery right through my heart...

"I feel like I shouldn't even be here", he shouted.

I can't describe the shock and the pain his words inflicted.  I can't say how I managed to stay afloat in that moment.  Maybe it was the milky ensō.  Maybe I channeled my inner Maezen.

"You should be here", I said, "and it makes me sad when you say that...I love you and I am also angry because I asked you to finish eating and brush your teeth so I can take you to camp.  I get that you like making bubbles and that's fine, but making them in a shallow saucer was not a great choice because, as you can see, there's milk everywhere.  I'll clean up the milk, but when you get home you are going to wash the place mat and seat cushion".

"How long does it take", he asked.

"You will see for yourself", I said, "it's time to go to nature camp".


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posted by Wendy at 10:15 AM


Anonymous Vicki said...


I've been reading your blog since forever. You are such a wonderful mama. I've read this post a few times during some stressful moments with my eight year old. Thank you for your honesty and sharing these moments with us.


4:34 PM  

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