Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Motherhood

I volunteered at Connor's school Christmas party. I informed Connor it was dress up day at his school.

He said, "Great! I think I'll be Batman."

I gently informed him dress up day meant church clothes, not costumes. He shot me a look that said, "Who in the world would think that was fun?"

Yesterday, Caleb was teased and called a few names (nerd being one of them). He came to me in tears, devastated by the entire interaction.

After he recounted all his grievances, I asked him how he handled it.

"Well, I ran to Connor and asked him what to do," he replied.

I questioned, "What did Connor tell you to do?" I imagined Caleb's younger, more sensitive and socially savvy brother provided some splendid advice.

Caleb continued, "He told me to hit them."

Clearly, not what I was thinking.
Note to self: Talk to Connor about his advice.

Fortunately, Caleb left the group of boys unharmed, but walked into the house in tears.

He still wallowed in sadness after his brothers were fast asleep. I pulled Caleb up into my bed and we talked. I opened up about my own childhood memories of rejection and humiliation. Many decades later, talking about some of those stories still uncovered a twinge of hurt. Feeling old stings magnified my sadness for my son. I imagine few things are worse than experiencing sadness through the eyes of your child. I told Caleb God made him an individual and not everyone understands or appreciates that, but that really isn't our problem. Caleb's job is to be the best Caleb he can be.

Caleb's tears dried and he retired in slumber shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately, sleep didn't greet me as quickly. Nothing breeds insomnia like motherhood.

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