He runs to make his mind still, to organize himself and to get rid of the noise from this loud, confusing world. The more he's moved, the more he's introduced patterns and rhythm into his routine. Laps around the house are a daily ritual. He's made it more complex as he's developed, but the basics are the same. There is a pattern of movement -- specific foot patterns based on whatever song or chant he chooses to accompany the run, and he can not be stopped until he is ready to be.

This is James, and this is our story.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Saying Yes

"Mom? MOM? MOM! Where's the glue?"

I hesitated for a second. I didn't want to answer.

"Mama! Please? I want to make something!"

No. I didn't need an arts and crafts project right now. I was annoyed. I was tired. I just needed to escape for a few minutes. Not now.

"Mom? I found the glue!"

Shit. I needed a break. I didn't need to be cleaning up glue.

The weather was awful again, and we had been stuck in the house for days without a car. We were all bored. I was letting them play as much Wii as they wanted, going through the motions of cleaning and organizing. I wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else. I've never been able to handle staying in one place without feeling completely trapped, so after a few days of confinement I was starting to unravel.
I did NOT want glue.

I stared at the 3 huge baskets of laundry to be folded and sighed.

He called again. I stomped downstairs. They needed something every second. It was all too much.

I walked into the dining room to see glue all over the table, and Johnny trying in frustration to stick a piece of paper on another.
Aggravated, I said:  "See, this is what happens with the glue. It gets all over".
"But Mama, it's stuck. Can you help me?"
I sighed loudly and took the little red piece of paper out of his hands and stuck it firmly on the larger paper, barely looking at it.

"Now I'm going upstairs. If you can't do it without spilling then I'm going to make you stop".

I half stomped upstairs to pretend to do laundry again, only to sit on my bed and feel the tears of frustration start to swell. Why didn't I just say no and make him go play Wii again? Why did I always let them do things that I had to finish, fix or actually do myself?
And then right in the middle of my little pity party, Johnny came running upstairs. "Mama! Look what I made!" he sang, and he handed me his paper as he jumped around happily. I put on the biggest forced smile I could and got ready to look excited as I took the paper from him. 
But the second I looked at it, I didn't have to pretend anymore. And I remembered why I say yes.

I make sure I keep it where I can see it though, just for *those* days...


lexi magnusson said...

This made me cry. I've felt all of those things. I've just wanted a moment's peace where I didn't have do or clean or fix or be. And then things like this happen.

I need to say 'yes' more. I need to see the bigger picture. Thank you for helping me to see this today. This was absolutely beautifully put.

Lisa said...

I love his masterpiece! Great post--I know I need to say "yes" more. Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Oof. Yes, exactly what Lexi said. All of it. *wipes spec from eyes*

Jim W said...

great post. Loved it thru and thru

Jennifer Bush said...

A perfect reminder. Thank you.

Bec Oakley said...

Thank you. You have no idea how much I needed this today.

Secret Sunshine said...

waaaaaaaah! real tears, real tears!

Mom2LittleMiss said...

This is one of those "print out and keep" posts... It's going right on the bathroom mirror. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mac, Kristen (or bux) told me you had the most incredible blog and she was so right. Its a privilege to read it. Who knew when you were smooching my Bill in the North End you would turn out to be a "mother extraordinaire" and compelling author
to boot, I 'm humbled. I can't wait to read more. XOXO Marah (Flemer)


krismac said...

Marah, Thank you - I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you read this and left your comment. Please give your Bill another kiss from me, all my love to Bux (she will forever be one of my favorite people in the entire world)and hugs to her beautiful family. Miss you all. xoxo