Monday, January 08, 2007

fantasy future

Sometimes I think about all the trials Isaac could be subjected to growing up– the stupid pranks, the name-calling, the peer pressure to do any number of things, the just-plain cruelty that kids can dish out onto one another, that leave us doubting ourselves, or doing things we don’t want to, or believing that someone else knows more about us than we do, that, in turn, leave us wounded, even as adults, of course as adults, that make us questioning, and vulnerable, and writers.

I can’t bear to think of Isaac going through these things, and I told Mike recently that I often catch myself imagining just the right thing to say, the right way to go about it, so that Isaac won’t have to suffer the indignities of childhood. I told him, laughing at myself, that I just need to believe for a while longer I have the power to protect him. I told him, I am just not ready to accept that he will have to go through some form of nonsense no matter what, or that (god forbid) he may not listen to his mother and therefore find himself trying to juggle his doubts in the aftermath of some less than positive incident. I have decided to hold onto the notion, for now, that I will find a loophole through which I will pull my son to safety.

To my surprise and relief, my husband shares my fantasy.

“But what if we can?” he said.

And that was all it took. I was right back up on the rocks with him, standing, waiting to swing out over the creek at a moment’s notice, the rope secured to the tallest tree, one foot coiled around it and resting on the knot at the bottom. Parents at the ready, and all possibilities open, as we gaze out ahead of us at the smooth, calm waters of our boy’s future.


Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this, but you will never outgrow these feelings. My youngest is turning 37 this year, my oldest is 47, and I still cringe mentally when I know such things occur in their lives. We do what we can to make them strong enough to face them.

Anonymous said...

My mom and I were talking about this over the holiday, and I was stunned to discover that what she perceived to be the cause of my (substantial) childhood torment had nothing to do with what my childhood self saw. I remember talking with her about how miserable I was, but (I guess) never about what was wrong. As a result, she spent a lot of time reassuring me against fears I didn't have, and the crazy on the other fronts stuck anyway. Which is funny, in a thank-god-it-is-over-now sort of way.

I hope your Isaac has the words to say what is awful in the cruel work of children, and that, when he does, you do have the right words.

If that fails, maybe just pummel the rotten little monsters?

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on homeschooling?

Kitty said...

Pummeling is an option. this stage my thoughts are that it's not going to happen. I'm a perfectionist teacher who would lose myself completely if I tried to do this - the thought itself is suffocating to entertain. And if he went to someone else's home to be schooled - well, then, might as well get him into the charter. Socialization for all its perils is beneficial in the long term.


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