Friday, June 26

Let the Healing Start?

To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. -E.E. Cummings, Poet (1894-1962)

It's good that tears can't be seen in the dark. It's also good that tired children aren't as perceptive in the dark when they're sleepy and thinking of other things... happy things.

Storm (who is eerily close to 5 years old, now) has amazed us with his physical abilities since... gosh, very early on. At least as far back as starting to walk, but probably further. His ability to know his body and its limits, to jump from so high with no fear and only get stinging feet... To throw a ball a surprising distance for his age (from very early on and continuing) and the accuracy he throws with.... The uncanny balance he's surprised us all with... His strength-that often rivals and sometimes overpowers Wyl, who is 5 1/2 years his senior...

His joy right now is gymnastic-type things. Jumping of all sorts; hanging, climbing and flipping over and under bars (or anything close enough to a bar to suit his need), that sort of stuff. He's been taking homeschool gymnastics classes for about a year and a half, now, at a local gym that Wyl took gymnastics at for a while. He had quit gymnastics before Storm was walking much (if at all) and was interested in trying again, but quickly lost interest. Storm loved it so much from the start that we went from one 45 minute class a week to two. And still he asked for more. When illness and travel had us missing several classes and to make them up, we ended up with *three* 45 minute classes a week, still, he asked for more. Every day he asked when he could go to gymnastics again. Sometimes, he wanted to go right back as soon as we got home. I wished I had the money to fulfill his need, but we did add some things at home (trampoline, loft bed-never would have considered *that* a climbing apparatus, but Storm saw it for that right away) that helped a wee bit.

This year, when the "school year" that the gymnastics schedule follows was over, his favorite coach, Steve, and I talked about where Storm might be placed for summer. There seems to be a big difference in class activity, skill level and length of class under 5 years and 5 years and up. Steve thought Storm could easily go to the 5 year old class, and maybe even into the 6 year olds-the big question was "listening" in the "paying attention" kind of way. I considered that he *may* be slightly bored and even that being in with older kids might help him focus better. We decided to give it a try for the summer. Private lessons were even suggested. *That* seemed like an interesting prospect, but I thought I remembered hearing they cost around $30/hour. Yikes.

With Wyl wanting to try gymnastics again, and 2 kids doing 2 classes a week, the owner gave me a break on the private lessons and kicked it down to a half hour, saving me a bit more. Storm was kind of excited about the extra time to work on more stuff that he was interested in.

Well, today was his first private lesson. There were a couple instances where his attention wandered (but really, he *is* 4! :~) ) and a few moments here and there that he fell into "play mode", but again, he amazed me with his strength. I didn't hear anything about it all day, so I asked at the end of the day as we were getting settled down for him to fall asleep.

I tried to keep it neutral, asking if he liked classes with the kids or by himself the same or if he liked one better than the other, but boy! "I like being by myself with Jake! I want to do gymnastics like that ALL the time!" :~) Oh, gosh, how I would love to do that for him, but the wallet says otherwise. I talked a bit about how Jake was trying to tell him how to hold his hands, but Storm was distracted and it was like the dawning of a Great Idea, "Ooooohhhh! Okay!!" he giggled. I suggested that he might learn more if he listened a bit closer to Jake instead of rolling around silly on the floor. He was quite excited about that and giggled again.

I started thinking about my love of singing and music and said, "Storm... Whenever you like something, I would love if you would tell me so I can help you do it as much as you want." He asked (at some point tonight) why he got those classes (or something to that effect). I told him I knew how much he liked gymnastics and that I thought he would like extra time and working on those skills he loves so much and that we'd talked about him learning more skills and being able to do more "big guy" kind of gymnastics (like we saw on the Olympics) and he *threw* himself on me and gave me a huge hug while he giggled with glee and said, "Mama I *love* you. I love you *sooooo* much!!!"

And I found out that I'm just not as big a person as all those Unschoolers I read who talk about healing by doing for their kids what they didn't get as kids. My very small self/mind/whatever immediately went to that little girl who wanted guitar lessons, piano lessons (asked for and denied, then my younger brother-who wasn't at *all* interested-got them instead), singing lessons, an electric guitar and was not only not facilitated, not supported, not helped, not given the opportunity to expand her joy, but was indeed *ridiculed* instead. And tears trickled down my face into my hair.

I kept thinking about the "healing" I've read folks talking about and I tried to turn my deep sadness into healing, but I failed. I kept thinking of what I might have done had I been supported, even who I might have been... I figure it is highly unlikely that I would be the person I am today, and I rather like who I am... but *still*... niggling doubts...

One of the most intensely "me" part of who I am is singing. I love to sing. I sing all the time. I sang to Wyl when he was a baby, a toddler, even older. I used to sing to Storm when he was a baby, but as he got into toddler-hood, he would tell me, "Stop singing, Mama." :~) I was not offended. :~) Just 2 weeks ago, he asked me to again sing, "That song about night.... with the shiny star?" And after I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, he asked me to sing it again. And then, one more time. I was thrilled! And then,
"Don't sing it again, Mama." :~)
"Okay." :~)
And yet, as huge of a chunk of me as singing *is*, singing solo for people outside my immediate family (Dave, Wyl and Storm) is my biggest personal fear. Sometimes, I even fear singing where Dave can hear me. It is such a tug-of-war... this desire to share my love with everyone, and being terrified to. Terrified of rejection, of laughter, of judgement, of humiliation. Of *laughter*. Where did I ever get that idea? I can't *recall* ever having my singing laughed over. Me, yes, many times. I don't ever remember singing solo where anyone could hear me, actually. In choir, in an ensemble, yes, but of course, in group settings, one isn't singled out.

Okay. Maybe *this* is the healing part. My kids (hopefully!) will not feel that tearing of desire and fear tug-of-war. They will choose their interests based on what brings them satisfaction and happiness. Things will fall by the wayside by lack of further interest or another something that edges it out-*not* because they've been ridiculed or embarrassed into it.

Maybe. My heart *does* feel a wee less heavy. (pause, smile) Maybe I'll go sing some cheer into it. Too bad it's so late, or I could crank up the Cha-Cha Slide and dance *and* sing my heart into feather-lightness! Tomorrow, maybe... with my super-wonderful boys....


Heather said...

De, what a beautiful and emotional post. I loved the quote and I love reading about Storm and his gymnastics!

I cannot for the life of me remember where I read this. Maybe Laura's blog. But she told her son something to the effect of -may you get to do everything that you want to do so that you don't have to grow up as an adult and cry about the things you never did.-

It happens to me too. And sometimes I wonder too how things would have been different, but it does make my heart smile when I work toward my children's goals.

You are so wonderful De... and might I suggest singing at a conference? What better place to have bunches and bunches of loving and supportive faces!!!

Flora said...

Such a nice post. I feel great to go through it. It's so natural and impressive to go through it.
Thanks for sharing it.
Flora Bosh

Sandra Dodd said...

I loved this:

""Mama I *love* you. I love you *sooooo* much!!!"

Thank you for sharing that.

I don't know why you feel less "big" than others, though, because what you're doing is awesome What a great investment in your grandchildren's lives, and in the peace of generations to come.

De said...


The "why" of it has been fluffing around in the back of my brain (kind of like soft, almost-dry clothes gently tossing around in the dryer...) for a few hours, now and I think there's actually a reinforcing "something" to it:

For as long as I can remember back, my childhood was continually threaded with comments and reasons of how I wasn't "good enough". Some was, I think (in my mother's mind) to keep me from being obnoxious or conceited. Some was her feelings about herself projected onto me (I didn't realize this until I was in my 40's-nor how often it occurred): I was fat (I wasn't, then-but surely a self-fufilly prophecy), lazy, selfish, rude, a horrible daughter, not ___ enough (whatever it was at the time: smart, thoughtful, hardworking, etc.)...

When it is drummed into your head by family and society that your mother is your #1 advocate and unselfishly has your best interests at heart-put before her own, no less... and that person thinks so lowly of you over and over again... You not only believe it, it *becomes* part of you, sometimes.

Even after I've known better, that core center of me sometimes still doubts... still instictively put's my mother's opinion out there first. Sometimes, it takes a lot of work from myself *and* hearty convincing from my sweet husband until I can move those doubts out of my path.

Thank you, Sandra, for being the catylist for those tumbling thoughts! Even more reason to keep shining light on my sweet boys and showering them in kindness, love and goodness, so they don't have to dwell in the shadow of doubt at *all*, much less the larger part of their adult lives.

I suddenly feel a desire to go hug my sleeping guys. So I will. :~)

Thank you!!

De said...

I don't know how to edit comments:

I'm sorry: self fufilling prophecy.

Oi-that was a silly typo!

Sandra Dodd said...

To correct a comment, cut and paste it into a new comment, make the correction, post it, then go back and delete the one with the error.

I'm sorry your mom talked so much and so negatively. But you can deal with the voice in your head by thinking back sometimes things like "Enough!" or "Stop now; it's too many years." Or "I want to be the last one in the line to have voices like that in my head." or "I"m sorry if your mom was that way too. Let's stop."

I had the voices of my mom and her mom saying some pretty hurtful things. It was a tradition in that family, but I have not passed it on.

Sandra Dodd said...

Those anonymous bots are evil. I think you should delete that one and this one too. Even though it didn't have a link, it will probably leave a link next time. It's happened on my blogs. Sorry to put a downer here, or to point at a downer preceding me up there.

De said...

Thanks, Sandra. I put it off for too long, and sure enough-the next one had a link. I'm still disenchanted with my blog format (I want it wide enough to fill the whole page instead of the narrow, newspaper-like column) and I've tried repeatedly to fix it, but I'm not having any luck... so I've been neglecting it. I'm just going to suck it up and deal with it, because I miss blogging!

Sandra Dodd said...

go to the dashboard, then layout, then pick new template.

Anything with "stretch" in the name is a wide format. It will let you try them out and look before saving them. I've changed lots of blogs.


Sandra Dodd said...

Don't forget to save it.

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
De said...

And Blogger finally heard me! :~D I *love* my new layout! Nice and wide (instead of narrow as a newspaper column), beautiful background (so similar to my computer wallpaper!), lightness and breezy. :~)