get used to it

May 12, 2014

snips & snails

Last week while Phil was out of town on business, the school principal called to tell me that she spoke with “Kind Sir” during recess, and that he seemed very anxious, sitting with the dandelions, blowing the soft petals in the wind with his eyes closed. “I’ve never seen him like that.” He was concerned that Phil’s plane would land safely in Florida, that he’d get his chocolate chip cookies snack on JetBlue, and mostly our sweet LB doesn’t like it when Papa is away. They share “a bond, Mama. How many times must I explain this to you?”
“What is this bond thing, Lucas?”
“It is a snuggle.”
“But I snuggle you! Why don’t we have a bond?”
“Because you have spiky legs!”
“What? So if I suddenly became a hairless cat–”
“No, not a cat! A hairless person. Yes. A hairless mama. Yes. Then, and only then, we will have a bond.”

French Tulip Wreath
A Spring/Summer Door Wreath I made in a fit of Spring Cleaning: Welcome Home!

Phil is outstanding about calling at breakfast time, asking if everyone has taken their fluoride multivitamin, “Is your folder in your backpack?” And he calls at just the right time. Me, away from home, I’d be on my own schedule, in my own world. But Phil tries to replicate the routine we have in place, assuring them that he’ll be home soon, having them count the days on their fingers. And once he does arrive home safely, expecting to be greeted with warm snuggles and joyous questions about gifts, instead he must ask for hugs, because the beans are busy bonding with their spiky-legged mama. And, so it goes.

13 Responses to “get used to it”

  1. A Says:

    I think ‘kind sir” playing alone, no friends is more of what you should get used to.

    Reply

    • erose Says:

      On what planet is it acceptable to attack a person’s child like that? I don’t understand the need for such cruelty. Are you a parent? Can you fathom how you would feel if someone spoke of your child that way? It’s disgusting.

      Reply

      • Stephanie Klein Says:

        Anon does it to stir the pot, hoping it will sting, hoping to provoke me and others, so she may feel a sense of importance.

        Lucas happens to be extremely comfortable in his own skin, at complete ease around others and by himself, which is a quality many of us lose along the way… perhaps causing us to needlessly provoke others for entertainment sake.

        Reply

        • erose Says:

          Yeah, I’m familiar with Anon’s antics. This one was particularly low, though, even for her. I get that bloggers can expect some nasty comments, since they put themselves out there. But it really takes a particularly horrible kind of person to say something negative about a child (and of course what she says about Lucas is absurd and inaccurate, but I find that beside the point). You’re right, though, the attention is what she seeks. I’ll stop typing now. Must not feed the trolls…

          Reply

          • Anon Says:

            Um, I was actually being serious. He is still at an age where kids are mostly nice and inclusive. He is the type of boy, based on your descriptions, who will have a difficult time in 6th grade/middle school transition. Hate all you want, it is a valid observation to point out to his mother.

            Reply

  2. Katherine Says:

    Oooofffff as a new mum this and your post about Phil’s health felt like a kick to the stomach. I can’t imagine how worried you must be. No wonder you’re feeling unmotivated. It’s enough to paralyse anyone. Sending you my thoughts and prayers

    Reply

    • Stephanie Klein Says:

      Thanks Katherine. All is well now, but it is nerve-inducing! Then, of course, the little caught some stomach virus and created bodily fluid spin-art all over the sofas, throw pillows, carpets, stairs, you name it. It’s been a lovely week. It’s only Wednesday, right?

      Reply

  3. Stephanie Says:

    is there anyway to block Anon? Can’t she spew her vitriol elsewhere? Attacking a child is so below-the-belt; it’s gross.

    Reply

  4. Rainy Says:

    Piss off Anon. Children at the age of six or so can be downright mean. They sometimes even grow up and become mean adults and have a difficult time transitioning into the work force. I cannot imagine that you have a kind bone in your body By the way what Universe do you exist in?

    Reply

  5. ElephantInTheRoom Says:

    I remember when I was a child, I could sit sadly for a while at recess, blow on the dandelions and make a wish and then get up and go about my day (and the next day everything was fine!) and not have the principal staring at me, questioning me, making a note in the permanent record, calling my mom, describing to her my private moment and asking about our private lives. These days children can’t experience any bit of sadness, anger or anxiety in front of an official without major concern and a need to do something about it ASAP (therapy endlessly or meds) or you are a bad parent. Kids will have no practice working through issues themselves, reaching out to those they love for help when they are ready or letting coping mechanisms kick in. In fact, the more they are interrogated, as if what they are feeling is horribly wrong (even if they are just sitting quietly in deep thought), it will make them more anxious and they will learn to fake it and blend in with others (do whatever people around them are doing, whether they want to or not) and push their feelings down deep (long-term not a great strategy), as introverts often do.

    Reply

  6. Alexandra Says:

    This makes me really sad. A kid can not have his moments of being quiet and introverted? He can not experience sadness and anxiousness – which are so important to learn to live with and deal with – without a school official intervening and flagging this to the parents?

    I don’t know your little Lucas, but from all I am reading here he seems just perfect.

    So he may be an introvert. Geez, about half of us are! Even though most of us hide it well and play the extrovert to fit it at the expense of exhausting themselves.
    I thought for many years something was “wrong” with me, because trying to fit myself in the mold of always being “on”, always socializing, and preferably being as loud as everyone else – it just drained me.
    I hope your beautiful kid will grow up happier than me, supported in being just who he is, and that he will come to celebrate all the beautiful aspects of being an introvert rather than denying them and having to painfully “fake it”.

    It seems so wrong that we have to learn what it means to stop and smell the roses later in life – but that we are actually born with that skill, before it is meticulously driven out of us as soon as we hit the “assimilation phase” where, in which we are shaped to fit the accepted mold.
    Feeling of anxiousness, sadness, fear are as normal as all the happy feelings, they will always be a part of life, and to be able to sit quietly in nature while experiencing these feelings is a beautiful thing if you ask me. Thumbs down to that principal.

    Also, I second every word that the ElephantInTheRoom wrote.

    Reply

    • Stephanie Klein Says:

      I don’t think the principal did anything wrong in letting me know her observations. Lucas knows that it’s okay to be off on his own to work through things in his own way. He’s very independent, very comfortable in his own skin. He’s not overly sensitive, in that, if there is a group playing a game of something that doesn’t interest him, and he sees something that does interest him, he’ll wander off, over to what grabs his attention, and be perfectly content to occupy himself. He doesn’t much care what others think about that, which is something too many people lose along the way.

      Reply

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