Susan's Blog

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Child, Myself

There’s always tomorrow
For dreams to come true
–Clarice, “Rudolf”

A good night’s sleep helps a lot. Although my throat is strangely tight, and my back is hurting from the new ab crunch I’ve been doing (drat that Middle Age!) my heart is happy and hopeful. I will email Nat’s psychopharm today and get an idea of what I can do about his new anxiety.

Last night I gave a talk and one or two people in the audience wanted to know if I had tried sensory integration for him, or The Diet. The answer is yes, of course I have. When Nat was younger, he had S.I. three times a week, sometimes more. I never saw much change in him. The same with the gluten-free, casein-free diet. Maybe I didn’t do it correctly, but there was not much of a change there, either. I have since come to believe more in getting him to engage in physical activity on a regular basis, rather than something like sensory integration. I think he needs to go running again. Maybe I need to buy a treadmill for the winter months. Will he enjoy that? Treadmill plus iPod, perhaps. Works for his mom and what’s good for the goose is good for the goslings.

I find that talking him through difficult moments is still the best approach for him — and me. I think he starts to feel out of control for whatever reason and my calm and caring voice is a rope that pulls him back to shore. I know that I need that sometimes, too. I sometimes feel like I’m floating around, just orbiting this world, not fitting in too well at times, not wanting to a lot of the time, looking for just the right connection with someone. When that rope is thrown my way, I feel such great happiness and relief. It’s not that I don’t like being alone. It’s just that I don’t like being misunderstood and lonely. I imagine it is the same for Nat, who is closely related to me genetically. He is one of my eggs! It always makes me feel oddly happy to think of my boys as my eggs. I feel supremely maternal, I feel a real ownership of them that is physical, visceral. Sure, sure, there is Ned in there, too, of course (where else do they get their beautiful faces, quick minds, and warm souls?) but I love it when I can see and feel parts of myself in my boys.

In Nat, for instance, I see the same need for consistency that I have, and the same high degree of energy. Also the willingness to try again, whether it’s with a sport, a visit somewhere, something new I’ve cooked, or a new video or a new book. He is extremely flexible and eager to please. He loves music the way I do, and has very strong preferences for types of music (he’s stuck in the 70’s). Nat also likes to be alone often, like I do.

In Max I see the thoughtfulness about issues and the left-leaning politics. I see the joy he takes in being with his friends, which are few but deeply held; this, too, is like me. I feel a nurturing coming from him that may be from me, but is perhaps greater than my ability to nurture. He also has an amazing ability to intuitively understand other languages, and lately we can speak French together (he is taking A.P. French at the high school). Also, Max’s sense of humor is just like mine.

In Benj I see the same passion, perhaps more than me, even. Ben also has the deep and fiery need for justice. He is both judge and enforcement squad. He will take no prisoners when he is right, and he is a bit like me when I am angry. Ben also has the love for word play that I have, and he really grasps spelling. Ben is a lusty little boy, already intrigued by the differences between males and females (very like his mom).

Flesh of my flesh. Chicken and egg. My Three Sons. (Pictured here: my leg, and my eggs)


Have you ever tried a stationary exercise bike? Good exercise for being inside during the winter. Enjoy your family, they fly from the nest very fast. Sincerely, Enna ID

— added by enna_id on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 10:41 am

We have been discussing getting an exercise bike. I am not sure Chance would be interested in this. How old was Nat when you got him on a bike? When I try to picture him on one, I sometimes think of ‘The Sound of Music’ probably because I don’t actually know this feeling..yet? I am having evolving ideas about a costume for you. I’ll try to get it on paper some time. Do you have Yahoo Messenger?

— added by mrs. gilb on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 2:07 pm