I wonder what it is that makes a boy begin to want to hide his tears. What changed from last year when he cried unselfconsciously like any other small child, to now, when he doesn’t want anyone to know, save maybe his mom, that he’s been crying? It’s just one more sign that my little boy is making his way to a man. (I know, I know, men cry…read on.)
This really struck me the other night when my son’s little bird suddenly began to poop blood. My son and I searched the web to see what could be the cause and everything we read said the bird was in BIG trouble, i.e. the bird would probably be dead within hours without help.
I looked at my son, whose eyes were beginning to fill up. “Let’s pray for him.” As we prayed over “Thunder” great big, salty drops began hitting the floor. Afterward, my sweet son went to the bathroom to wash his face, then came out to ask me if anyone could tell he had been crying. *gulp*
Later, when my husband came home, they, too, prayed over Thunder. Again, the big drops fell. I heard our son ask his daddy to carry him to bed “upside down.” He didn’t want his daddy to see his tears. *another gulp*
I’m sure it will take him many more years to figure out that crying doesn’t make him less of a man, and in some cases, will make him more of one. He is also beginning to sense that in holding back his tears, he is joining the ranks of noble men who face life’s challenges with courage. It’s just one of those bittersweet moments watching one of your children pick their way through the path to adulthood, and you cringe a little that the path is not always so straightforward.
And, by the way, the prayers of my righteous little man did availeth much…Thunder is just fine.
I have been intrigued by a book my sister-in-law has been reading about our children being “nature deprived.” The book is provocatively titled Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Apparently, we have so little contact with nature these days, that we have become scared of the natural world and our kids are missing out from the experiences that so much of our poetry and literature is based on, not to mention just missing the joy of being outside.
I intend to read the book eventually, but she has had me thinking about it the meantime. I’m not sure, though, if I have carried the idea too far.
Yesterday, I found a dead robin in our backyard. I couldn’t believe that my bird-loving son had missed it. Just minutes earlier he was playing right where the robin lay. I called him outside to look and before I could tell him not to touch it, he bent and picked it up. I closed my open mouth and thought, “Well, there is always soap and water.”
He held the bird, rocked its loose head back and forth, touched its beak, and thoroughly examined him. He decided a burial at sea would be appropriate for the bird, so we took the bird to the nearby canal and ceremoniously tossed him in. Meanwhile, I was constantly monitoring my son just in case he was going to rub his eyes, pick his nose, or stick his fingers in his mouth.
Afterwards, hearing the soap and water running and feeling satisfied that I had let my son pick up a dead bird, I kept reassuring myself that the robin had died of old age and probably in the intervening moments that my son had gone inside and I had gone outside. He was large, and well formed, and generally healthy looking, excepting of course, that he was dead…he certainly couldn’t have died of a species-jumping virus such as BIRD FLU…could he??!
Maybe I need to just go read the book. Surely the author suggests that we interact with dead animals from a safe distance.
A few weeks ago I wrote that I was going to start using Menus4Moms, a free, weekly meal planner site that includes recipes, shopping lists, freezer tips, and bulk cooking tips. They have now added a daily reminder for a household chore. It is kind of like Flylady, but not nearly so involved (no thousands of emails!). This is just one reminder to spend 15 minutes on a chore in one one area of your house only.
I have really loved the meal planning. I especially love the shopping list. I am quite forgetful, so it helps to see a comprehensive list that includes spices, etc. just in case you happen to run low on a staple such as oregano.
The best benefit is that my family is feeling very loved. I have meal planned before, but I never planned the side dishes very well. We are now having a great variety of sides and we are definitely eating more vegetables. I have had the time now to add a special dessert here and there, too. The extra time has freed me up to make from scratch things that I used to make, such as pie crusts, but no longer made due to time.
Nothing says love like a table full of good things to eat!
Hurrah! With the wonderfully calm skill of Dr. Kyle Raymond, pediatric dentist in Austin, TX, my youngest had her front tooth cavity filled without being put to sleep. Of course, she screamed and was a little scared but he was finished in almost no time at all. He let me stay right with her and had me hold her hands while he worked. She was looking into my face directly instead of his. She was perfectly fine as soon as I sat her up. She even held Dr. Raymond in no ill will afterwards. I think it was his matter-of-fact nature that I particularly liked…he didn’t talk down to her or coddle me, either. Just a reassuring “let’s get it done” attitude.
If you found my blog by searching under “tooth decay in my baby” I urge you to search for a pediatric dentist who is willing to try alternatives to sedation. In my baby’s case, we caught it early enough and were able to drill without sedation or even local anesthetic.
For decalcification, there is also a treatment available where the dentist will paint a fluoride varnish on the tooth once a month for 6 months. We decided in my baby’s case that the treatment would just be putting off the inevitable, but do look into that option if you start noticing little while spots on your baby’s teeth.
Believe it or not, it is snowing in this little border town! My neighbor said it was twenty years ago that it had last snowed. We are actually getting more snow than some areas northwest of us.
So, for school today, we got to have a field trip to the north in our very own yard and observe, compare, and contrast:
- freezing rain (and how it is different from sleet)
- snow (we never did catch a perfect flake…they were huge conglomerates of many)
- icicles and their development (where do they form first? last? why are they shaped that way? when will they melt?)
- freezing temperatures and their effect on water
- ice glazing (the leaves were beautiful!)
- gravity (the children slid down a 3 feet slope into the canal…okay, that one was a stretch)
My favorite highlights:
- The children picking up big leaf imprints of ice from the magnolia tree and scooping up snow and eating “chips and dip.”
- My third calling out, “Yea! My first snow!!!”
- My baby being scared, then still, then curious, and finally tasting and touching it.
- The industry that the outdoors brings out in children.
- The tinkly sound of sleet.
My not-so-favorite highlights:
- Mud, mud, and more mud.
- Wet clothes.
- Snow down my back…multiple times.
It is predicted to snow through the night but warm to above freezing tomorrow. I have a feeling I’ll be wakened early with giddy little kids itching to make a snowman again before the thaw. O Happy Day!