A Raw Nerve

June 17, 2011 § 6 Comments


After nine years in the same house, same city, my family is picking up and moving off. This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere. As a child, I moved all the time and didn’t anticipate I’d be this emotional about it now. I’ve done well to starve tears off, but lost control at a local Barnes and Nobles storytime today.

My now eight-year-old has come to this storytime since he was in diapers. We’d play with the train table beforehand which caused him to rename Barnes and Nobles the “Choo Choo Store.” For a while my daughter called it “Farms and Ovals.”

All three of my children attended story time today. The three-year-old son was asleep on my shoulder and the older two started working on the craft. I began to cry. It was a silent kind at first. No one really noticed until the craft started. My daughter asked me to help her after she crinkled her face together and  declared her brother, “isn’t helping me right. I don’t want him to mess up my art. It has to be just right.”

I sat down cross-legged next to her and opened my mouth to tell her she was taking this “tortured artist” mentality a little too far when the quiet weeping turned into a sob.

My eight-year-old stopped crafting and looked like he was about to cry on my behalf.

“I’m fine,” I assured him. “Mommy will just miss the story times here. You have come to so many of these things.”  

 A grandmother came over us and asked if I was alright. After I explained everything she hugged me. That was nice of her considering she doesn’t know me and I hadn’t showered in a while. So, she was comforting a smelly, sleep-deprived stranger. We got into the car to leave and I pulled the mirror down to check my face. I found pancake batter in my hair. Nice.

After we got home, I started reading THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: THE FIELD GUIDE to them and came to the part where Jared tries to get proof the boggart (bad house faerie) exists. He hopes his mother will stop thinking he is the one causing all the mischief around his house. His father and mother have just divorced and she thinks he’s doing these things to act out – he broke another child’s nose at school and got into a lot trouble there. I read the following section:

“But the reason he felt bad was… well, he knew what it was like to be mad, and he knew how easy it was to get into a fight, even if you were really mad at someone else. And he thought that just maybe that was how the boggart felt.”

Jared’s empathy for the bad faerie made me weep. Again. I decided to stop. If faeries for Young Readers make you cry, you might need to shut down and rest.

While I haven’t blogged or written much at all lately (from all the packing, organizing, and not sleeping) this is just to say I’m fine, but unplugging for the rest of the summer until we get our life settled in new city, new state. My heart is rubbed raw. 

You all take care of yourselves. I’ll leave you with something upbeat.

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