14 Oct 2010


13 Comments Family

This morning, Garrett spun around too long in the bathroom and, when he stopped, fell on the tile floor with his cheek against the toilet. I only saw it the second after it happened and thought, “Why is he lying on the floor?” He started crying and, as I picked him up, he said, “Everything is spinning!”

His cheek was red and we iced it. I checked his mouth. No bleeding. He didn’t even bruise. He only needed a few more minutes of ice and several kisses. I felt like we dodged a bullet, I felt lucky, and I felt guilty all at the same time. “Why wasn’t I watching him? What was I doing? Brushing my hair? Yeah, brushing my stupid hair. I heard him but I thought he was just stomping, not spinning. That could have been really bad. Thank God it wasn’t.”

Clearly I can’t watch what my son is doing every second of the day. I can’t even do it every second we’re in the same room together. Sometimes a lady’s gotta brush her stupid hair. But all of my little fears come to the surface when something like this happens. Who’s watching him on the playground at school? Is he careful when he rides that bike on the bike path they have there? Is anyone paying attention to him when he’s eating the grapes I packed in his lunch? (They’re cut in half, of course.) I mean clearly, even when I’m the one in charge, shit happens. Shit is going to happen.

The thing is, I think about this kid all day. All the time. I sometimes struggle to find something to talk about besides the little, brilliant, funny, blond three-year-old that lives in my house. One of my big fears when I was pregnant was that there was going to be someone else living with Russ and I.  I remember saying to him, “Do you realize someone else is moving in? And he’s NOT leaving! How can three of us live here?” And now I don’t even blink an eye when that guy follows me into the bathroom to pee (or worse)! I never knew. I didn’t know.

And I want this kid to know no pain. I want him to make all the right choices and choose all the right people and follow all the right dreams. I want him to know more laughter than tears, and to live a beautiful, blessed life. But I know that shit happens. And our desire to protect every moment is an impossible one.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this except to say that as moms,  every little hurt that happens to our children creates a personal pain for us. The bigger the hurt for them, the greater our pain. On the other hand, their joys are ours too! When you have a kid, it’s like a piece of you is out there living a separate life, but one that you feel insanely connected to, and fiercely protective of. I never imagined having these feelings. Every mom should be connected by them.  Funny how Garrett NOT hurting himself today made me think all these things.  He’s incredible. I’m so grateful. I’m spinning.

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Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!
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13 Responses to “Spinning”

  1. Reply Andy says:

    Silver lining: Now he knows what showbiz is like.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Maybe you misunderstood. I said he DIDN’T get hurt. Plus, even if he had gotten hurt, I’d still love him. Absolutely nothing like show business.

  2. Reply Andy says:

    Yes, the sting was brief. Like being told the role you read for is between you & someone else & then you never hear about it again.

  3. Reply Christine says:

    Kate is ten. She has a life totally seperate from mine. I ask her how her day was and she says, “fine.” I ask her what she did all day and she says, “nothing.”. But I remain connected. The umbilical cord, which was seemingly severed at birth, remains and has grown so that it reaches her at school, at karate, at friends houses, on field trips and on sleepovers. Thank God it’s invisible. Otherwise people would think it was freakin gross. Enjoy the connection. And prepare yourself as he gets older, because bigger kids have a whole different set of boo boos.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Hilariously, I have to trick Garrett into telling me about school. He has yoga class once a week and I can never get him to tell me about it. So the other day I was like, “Do you do this in yoga?” And I did a bunch of goofy moves. So he said, “NO! We do THIS!” And he finally showed me some of his moves. Love the tricks.

    • Reply Lana says:

      I love this! I call my umbilical cord “my golden thread” and it was a very comforting image to my girls when they were little. I would say that the Golden Thread is as tight or loose as they need it – always connected – even through death it is connected. It would stretch far on the 1st day of preschool and stay very tight on spooky nightmare nights. I also tell them I give a little tug throughout the day when they’re at school and my 6 year old still asks me if I felt her pull on that Golden Thread when she comes home. Love reading about Mama stories – thanks, Lisa! xxx

      • Reply flawlessmom says:

        LOVE IT! Golden Thread. So good. Your girls are insanely lucky.
        Know what else is amazing? How connected we are as mothers. I’ve been so surprised by that.
        It’s like we all have an umbilical cord that we hold together, helping each other and holding each other up…
        Just because we know each other’s pains and hopes. Oh god. I’ve gotta get some sleep.

  4. Reply Sherri says:

    There’s a terrific book called “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee” – you might enjoy it…

  5. Reply Lana says:

    I love that book! The most helpful parenting book for my kids in their 4th through 10th years! Her new one is called “Blessings of a B Minus” and is amazing…

  6. Reply Erika says:

    My husband always tells me that our little girl will be the one kid to fall in a well so I keep a close eye on her, but it is not possible to do so 24/7! I always worry when I don’t hear any sounds and it usually involves trouble 🙂

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