Sunday, December 27, 2015

Invest in the Broken

Perhaps "innovation" should be a stronger word in my vocabulary for this coming year. As my son destroyed another small gift I had just given him for Christmas, I thought many thoughts, but one that floated through I was chastising myself for buying him something that had the potential of being just another thing he destroyed within minutes.

Yes, he did it with no provocation except curiosity that I know he can't quite resist in such items, so why do I persist in purchasing them for him? Because I want to give him something that has potential to please him also. Maybe that moment of destruction also pleases him more than I know---more than hanging on to the thing and playing with it.

I, personally, don't get it. I do think back to when I gave a new doll given to me for Christmas a "hair cut", so I suppose that is some of the same. I remember taking a marker to one also. Beheading Barbies was always a good time, if nothing else to irritate my sister. He got a reaction from me and that alone is probably worth the price of admission. I could see my reaction was highly entertaining to him.

I made sure the item was only about $4 on sale and so my thought was if he did destroy it, I wouldn't be too broken up about it. It sure made a mess and may have stained the couch and his clothes to the point of no return, but we'll see about that too. To him it doesn't matter of the expense, who gave it to him, or if it is sentimental----there is no sentiment to him.

This summer he destroyed a garden gnome a student had given me and a garden statue that my husband had given me. I was rather upset and taken aback that he'd done that. The gnome was sentimental and that little statue I'd grown fond of being there all these years. Both were memory markers that I'd look at and think of certain times. They were in my garden and were mine. He took them and smashed them to pieces. I was angry. They were just things, but that he took them and just destroyed them for no reason was what was beyond my thinking.

The "Let It Go" theme song is playing in my head, but it is difficult to let go of wanting to hang on to times and things that represent something. So, what did this little $4 gift represent? Simply a gift from me. He hangs on to none of them that I give him or plays with much of any of them----he simply dismantles them and I put them into the trash can. I keep handing him gifts great and small and he keeps taking them apart to find what is inside.

I guess that is part of what he'll always do. He goes deep into any subject to find the furthest he can go on the inside. He wants to know how everything works. 

I think I should do what a friend of mine with his autistic son does and go to Goodwill and garage sales finding interesting electronics, toasters, clocks, etc...and hands him a few tools so he can simply "take it apart". As far as I know, this particular child has never put anything back together, but he is an expert at taking stuff apart and it makes him really, really happy. They are never short for screws, nails, or other such hardware in that family.

I do want to see him happy about the gifts I give him. Perhaps, I shouldn't care how that happiness comes. I want him to keep exploring what is on the inside. I think I haven't explored that enough when it comes to objects in my life, so often I don't understand how to repair them when they break. Maybe, he will study what he destroys and some day to find a way to put it all back together.

He is excited for his doctor's appointment tomorrow to discuss medicine with our doctor. His fascination at the moment is in the disease angle of it all not into the healing parts. I hope if he studies it in depth though, the healing will take place. If nothing else, he'd make a great surgeon, find what it is and cut it out! It is the sewing up part that will take a bit more practice.

P.S. I was going to post pictures of the broken gnome that I did take at one point when I was really mad, but I must have purged them in order to "let it go". Good for me!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Windstorm of emotions coming through....

Around Christmas friends and acquaintances always ask what my plans for the holidays are and they ask about my family. Or they ask if my mother is going to come see us, because they don’t know me and their mother is flying in and they have it on the brain. It is always a little bit of an awkward silence after I confess, “No, my Mom passed away “x” number of years ago.”
It was Christmas time, I remember the lights and decorations up as we drove through town in our tiny Missouri town after the funeral. The lights blurred in the reds, yellows, and greens like a water color as I cried my eyes out. I remember looking out the car window thinking, “Why is there so much color?” I wanted to drain it all away to match my mood.
It was surreal to think of her gone. For about 5 years after her death, I dreamed often she wasn’t gone. We weren’t close, but she was my Mom and there is something indefinable that I miss about her---her being here.
17 years ago today, Mom, you passed away and I was so glad you were out of tremendous pain, but I was also so sad to know you’d left, oh too soon. I miss you, Mommy!

Mother, December 10th
I sat down and it settled in
I scheduled work today to distract me
I was so busy until the children’s voices
rang out with today’s date
just a day to most
a birthday to some
a marriage proposal to others
a job promotion
an encouraging word
a first book published
a difficult test conquered
a love gained and lost
a mile walked or run for the first time
a dry pair of socks given to someone living in the pouring rain
a memory floating on a sea of mixed feelings
so deep like paint that is stirred after sitting
reveals its true shades
the beauty ready to be spread
part of a picture captured
created out of using
not wallowing,
thick like stucco
Delicate brush strokes
wire thin, part of the bigger picture
the date tells me this is the day
this is the day you left
you wandered off this coil
no longer to be called mother, sister, or lover
by anyone except in passing
many stories repeated at first
then the second verse
is a little less, but still conveys
your life story
and the third verse often skipped
is the heart of the song
I can’t skip it
I let it ring out
If only to myself
But sing as if everyone can hear it
And then finish on the fourth
As to the hope I find,
In knowing where you are
And where we might meet again,
On this day to myself, I sing the whole song,
this song sailing though
as wind gusts blowing
sometimes raging surprisingly powerful
to the delight of those
that speak not your name often
Except now
on this day
this date
we sing