Sometimes I am wounded to the core by my son’s disdain for my singing.
I can’t stand it.
I don’t have a bad voice and I love to sing.
He won’t let me.
I feel stifled.
And sometimes I feel wounded to the core by his annoyance with books.
Granted, there are occasions on which he actually enjoys them and will let me read him a page or two. He might even read a sentence himself, but those occasions are exceptional.
In general, my kid doesn’t like to look at books.
I come from a family of book lovers. A family of book collectors. And a house full of music.
Now I am ordered not to sing, not to read, not to be.
My heart breaks over this on a daily basis.
And it feels like a slight to my father, the one who mastered a love of books and beautiful song.
I know a conversation with my dad today would only reveal a man determined to appreciate the strengths of a boy. My dad would caution me to overlook these minor and probably temporary let-downs. Of course, I always heed that imagined advice, but the whole of it makes me very sad anyway.
Just now, the little boy and I were in the guest room, stripping the bed after Grandma’s visit. He was singing, humming really, with his lips forming a perfect “o” and his little head tilted upward, like the children at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
I thought I would try to engage him with a book from the t.v. special, complete with music and lyrics for two of the songs.
He saw Snoopy and the other characters on the page and seemed very interested, so I showed him a second Charlie Brown book.
He sat on the floor, turned the pages himself, pointed at Snoopy and was smiling and happy.
Then he started singing Jingle Bells.
I produced a board book with the music and lyrics for that song too.
But then I made the fatal error.
I decided to sing the words and point to the notes so he could follow along.
He lost his mind.
“No read a book. No read a book! No sing! No read a book! Mama, no sing!”
I tried to calm him down.
He took the item nearest him – the dust jacket for the Peanuts book – and ripped it in half.
It made me mad. It really did. With all the fury of impatient generations behind it.
I ordered him out of the guest room and closed the door and now I sit here pouring out the emotion just to get it gone.
Because I know the little boy loves music. I KNOW he does.
And I know he will come to love books.
But in this moment, I am overwhelmed with his disdain for my love of them both.
Overwhelmed. Sad. Stricken with grief for the unfairness of time and loss and death and the mismatch of generations.
I miss my dad.
I just miss my dad.
And I wish I had let my mother sing.
Now it’s 7:00 p.m. The little boy is clean and dry, snug in his room, and headed for dreamland.
He closed the door to the bathroom during his shower tonight and got the place as steamy as a sauna.
When I popped up to check on him, the steam poured out and engulfed me.
Through the fog of it, I found him standing on the edge of the wet tub pointing a full bottle of water straight at the light fixture. I shudder to think what hazardous scheme had hatched itself inside his busy brain. Sheesh!
I have ridden a roller coaster of emotions today, partly fueled by sleeping only four hours last night and partly fueled by the little boy’s destructive nature.
He broke things today.
I replaced them or I fixed them or decided I didn’t need them. I cried a few times and just kept going.
I went to Pier One and Trader Joe’s and Petco and Von’s. I came home, I took down Thanksgiving and put up Christmas.
The boy was excited to help with three trees, two garlands, and a wreath. Husband hung a cheery string of outdoor lights and inflated a silly two-foot Santa on the front lawn. We ate Thanksgiving food all over again and I chopped up the decorative gourds to scatter in the corner near the ever-flattening pumpkins.
What a day.
Now I’m going over to my new couch to sit next to my sweet husband to watch something with Bruce Willis in it. Anything with Bruce Willis in it, please.
Day Twenty-Six 2010 Pumpkin Demise
I was enchanted by a beautiful hummingbird in the yard today. Now THAT was a photographic challenge. Didn’t get any really great shots of him, but it was wonderful to watch.
Oh, I almost forgot…