Two conversations, in which my tone was terse and bedtime ready. I had been dodging their idonwannnagetreadyforbed volleys for going on an hour — Robotically getting them cleaned, and dressed, and attending to their oral hygiene — I tucked them in – Gave them appropriate cover, and handed over perfunctory kisses. When all seemed settled, I started turning lights off around the apartment and discovered — Read the rest of this entry
I can hear you both,
when you talk about my son.
Eyes lowered, whispering under your breath.
You don’t think I know the context of the conversation?
How does she do it?
She doesn’t do enough.
I would do it different.
I wouldn’t let him get away with that.
Thank goodness he isn’t mine.
I only hope his hearing isn’t
as good as his mother’s.
How do I love such a creature as him?
You mean the most witty six-year-old you have ever met?
The one with the vocabulary that rivals my own,
I do it by asking him to tell me a story.
When he finishes he jumps up, grabs on to me
as if a Koala, tells this mama he loves her so.
I don’t do enough – you say this
because you have seen
just five minutes of us.
You are not there, as I scoop him off the floor
after the fifth tantrum of the day-
The one where at just six years old
“I hate my life,
you can’t control me”.
You are not there as I pull him into my arms
hold the boy still,
calm the nerves,
of the one who never grows that fast,
so that at six he still fits in my lap
that his life isn’t so bad.
You would do it different?
Really, tell me how? Yell at him in public,
beat him till he was blue,
be less stern with him,
medicate him less,
Would you schedule more meetings with his teacher,
set up more med checks with his pediatrician,
would you change the whole diet of this family,
lock him in his room till he was eighteen?
Quit your job, school him at home?
Please tell me – what-
would you do?
Let him get away with what?
noticing every last thing in the world,
stopping for every flower that looks different?
Punish him for his frustration,
tell him to bottle it away?
His energy, you would contain it?
His synapses-You would stop them for firing how?
Would you punish his frontal lobe cortex?
Tell it next time, it better shape up?
Thank goodness he isn’t yours?
Thank goodness he isn’t yours.
They say you get the children
you are supposed to,
and he was supposed to be mine.
As if you would even know
where to begin,
with someone as special as him.
But this time,
I am just going to have to walk away.
-Mom, beer is really bad for your body, maybe you shouldn’t drink it.
I don’t know Kai, It was invented by Monks – and it’s been around a long time, and mama usually just has a beer with dinner.
-Nope, I heard it – and it’s true. No beer is good for you, You shouldn’t drink it.
Cue the moment, I realized – that my son will rebel by being straight-edge.
He is motion
His is no breath between words
He is no pause for your answers to your questions
He runs as if by motor
He is endless knock knock jokes and one liners-
When I told him one Halloween when he was three
No I want to be the princess, you are making me sad
Don’t be sad, be a dragon. Read the rest of this entry
Two boys. Crazy, and wild, and over the top- side-way smiles – knock knock jokes – fiends for stickers and Nano bugs and Legos and screen-time – lovers of snacks, sneakers of chocolate, delivers of hugs and snuggles- one with dimples- one who likes to run- sensitive and smart – story tellers- eyebrow raisers- comedians at five and three- believers in magic and wonder. Two boys.
A day-care provider for five years, who tended them, loved them, taught them their letters and colors, fed them, did not ban them from her day care when they bit other children, did not have a heart attack when they insisted on climbing higher, who tended me- didn’t give me a thing to worry about, because I knew my children, my babies, my infants were safe and loved.
A preschool teacher who has had both my sons now- who helped one to stop hitting his classmates, who is helping one to appreciate the potty – a teacher who has structure and love, and a play loft – she who created a preschool for Hadley, who is just about to retire, who has been the teacher to even my senior students who are about to graduate – she who has taught my sons songs, and numbers, and to to cut paper, and write their names, she who transcribes stories and helps them to share.
“Kai, I met with your teacher today. She said you had writing workshop this morning.”
“Yep, we did mom.”
“She said you talked all about going to see the President, but you didn’t want to write about it, do you remember what you wrote about instead?”
“Oh yeah, Chuck E. Cheese.” Read the rest of this entry
It wasn’t the almost-midnight, almost-falling-over laughing with new co-workers on a school night, and it wasn’t the compliments from parents at open house – It wasn’t the students being silly about my new haircut either, or my mock trial team members coming to my room every day in anticipation of our first meeting for new teammates.
It didn’t last long. It took just three words, a half a smile, and a glance to the back of the car. I’ve mentioned this before here — that one of the things that I measure my parenting by –is the love my sons have of music. So when a new favorite song of mine came on the radio, a song the energetic one asks me to turn-up every time it’s on – I turned it up before he had a chance to say anything. And in my quick glance back to see what new dance moves he was working out, he pointed at me with grin that belonged only on the Cheshire Cat, and said, “you read my mind”.
Oh sweet five-year-old, I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to do such things, to read your mind, to know what you need. But right now, right now, that I can just know your favorite song, that is enough to make me bathe in the light of the moment for the rest of the week.
My sweet boy, five years gone, my monkey always. And tomorrow-kindergarten. How can that be? Read the rest of this entry
Having gotten sent home twice,
and nearly three times,
at five years old,
from a camp run
by the Y –
Last week, to say the least,
was tough for my energetic one. Read the rest of this entry