Friday, August 24, 2012

all the lost and lonely.

"So he stood at the front window, and he watched his dad and his big sister pull away in the mini-van, headed for his beloved garden, and it suddenly all became too much to bear. They were leaving him, and he wanted to go with them, more than anything in the world, he was tired, he was unwell, and oh, enough is enough. He began to cry and cry and cry...

I stomped, I shushed. I hissed about sleeping babies, and how he was too big, too old, for this nonsense. For heaven’s sake, it’s a small garden, they’ll be back in a moment, gracious, child, where is your self-control? Listen to me, listen to me, obey, obey, stop it, stop it stop it. This is ridiculous.

Amazingly, this did nothing to calm the situation.

I bathed him, grim-faced, a sergeant major of mothering, dried him with his own striped towel, and still he wept his frustration, his exhaustion, his loneliness, his left-out-ness.

And I remembered something

—something about my own self in the moments of my grief and exhaustion and weariness for real-grown-up-life stuff, and wondered: maybe small boys need this gift, too? This seems small to me, but to him, it’s the whole world right now, and so perhaps, I could practice a bit of grace for the tiny man.  I picked him up, shrieking and despondent, settled in the rocking chair, and I held him close, the way he loves to be held, and I said, 'You are so sad. You are so angry. You really wanted to go with Dad and Annie. Oh, Joe, you’re so sad.'

And he stopped crying, slowly calmed, wary, listening to me. 'I’m so sorry, I’m sorry you’re so sad, Joe-Bear.' He blinked through his tears, those exhausted childish hiccups surfaced that signify the end of the storm, raggedy breaths, he realised I was really listening, to him, right now.

I believed him and that was enough."

Sarah Bessey.

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