One step back, now two steps forward

I have to say, while Peanut is in his room noisily refusing to sleep whilst concocting an elaborate triage center for his stuffed friends and the various wheeled vehicles that will rush them, surprisingly free of gore (for he is three and lives a sheltered life by design), to the doctor’s kit wherein they will be asked to give a urine sample and listen to Peanut’s heart; that he’s turning into an interesting creature.

It’s not true that things that don’t kill you make you stronger. For parents, that which does not kill you makes your kids stronger and more compelling humans. We’re still whittled down to nubs, but they blossom in the compost of our selfhood.

[pause while I go to the now open door and remind him that during quiet time he has to stay in his room. “Why?”  “Because the whole rest of the day is about what you want, and right now is about mommy wanting your body and brain to rest and grow.” “Why?” Because I’ll die right here if you don’t give me an hour of peace. “Because that’s the rule in this house.”]

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes, offering organic flesh ripped from my sanity as fodder for Peanut’s growth. Reread the Giving Tree when you have a chance. It’s about sacrifice and shriveling up into relative uselessness. Together.

That Shel Silverstein is another San Franciscan who knew his left from his right, eh?

The smiling fun of past two days are more than just my joy at being healthy, off crutches, in the bright light of spring, surrounded by flowering plum and cherry trees, and finally home again. Nope. This is about the trough in the parenting roller coaster that follows a week or two or three of every-cell-fraying individuation. This is the afterglow of personality development. This is the necessary calm in the storm that is growing up, the respite that allows moms to breathe, just for a moment, and to smile at the beautiful creatures they are lucky enough to have met.

Oh, I love you, little character.

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4 thoughts on “One step back, now two steps forward

  1. I just read that book to my daughter tonight and totally felt like the nubby stump at the end of the story.

    Seriously, is it too much to ask that she leave me with a few apples and a handful of leaves at the end of the day?

  2. I’ve come back to this three times now and am not sure what to say in response, other than to applaud. What an intricate and profound post.

  3. I hate The Giving Tree. I will not read it to my children; I will not own it; I will be furious with any one who does read it to my children.

    That said, what are we going to do when they are too old for naptime? When will we have our peace? I shudder at the thought.

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