Tag - endings

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The River
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Slow Motion

The River

The thing about feelings is this: they either rush through us like a river and empty out of us or they course around and meet a wall — a wall we build when it’s not safe to let it out. The boys rush to me in the mornings and each curls into a side. I feel like a bird, plump with wings made just for this. Their eyes are crusty with sleep and they yawn and burrow. They are so tall now, all gawky hard angles.

“Mom?” he says, “what’s on tap for today?” For Sam, schedules are still paramount. He likes to plot it all out — which is why weekends, with chunks of time to fill, can be problematic. We talk about how it’s Monday (hooray!) and he has a regular day at school and media — his favorite. We talk about what types of books he will check out (we’re back to extreme weather and the world atlas). We outline his schedule (first morning meeting, then math, then reading…).

Then he says, “I love you Mom.” I love you too buddy! I say as brightly as possible because in an instant the river has rushed up behind my eyes. The wall is close to coming down. John is still quiet, his arms circle me from the other side. He listens to us and then says “Go to school?” We get up and begin the morning routine and I’m all super-efficient Mommy making breakfast, packing lunches, getting clothes. As long as they are okay, I’m okay.

Slow Motion

Three weeks ago my life imploded and ever since it feels like I’ve been moving in slow motion. I think this is what happens when your life shifts — and mine is definitely shifting — your vision is crisp, the blinders are off. So many things are clear right now, here’s one…

…John’s brilliant light.

This boy’s light is dazzling. I’ve always known he was special, but god is he smart. So smart. His teacher reports that he is close to one of his classmates, a little girl. When other children cry he claps his hands over his ears, but when M. cries, he goes over to her, puts an arm around her shoulder and says, “S’okay Mo-mo.” I kneel down in front of him and ask him whether he would like orange juice or apple juice and his eyes, god his eyes, look me straight in the eye when he answers, “Orange juice?” I catch my breath.

Small things to other families, incredible for mine. Empathy, expressiveness, comprehension. This is what else I see…

…Sam’s tenderness, his heart.

He worries about everyone and wants to name feelings. I try to give him kid-size words for adult problems. I tell him he is a kid and the grownups will fix the grownup problems. I tell him that everything will be fine, that he is loved, so loved. This is a boy who studied Thomas the Tank Engine videos for clues on facial expressions, and who could probably lead his own social skills group. He says, “I love you so much, Mom.”

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