O. M. G.
My three year old is soaking up the language and mannerisms of her older siblings.
The other day, she and I spent most of the day around the house, working in the yard and whatnot; I wore my usual work around the house clothes: jeans and a big bulky sweatshirt.
When it came time to go get the kids from school, we headed to the van, where I realized it was really quite warm out. I peeled off my sweatshirt. Underneath, I was wearing a black t-shirt with three-quarter sleeves and a rather dramatic v-neck. Not a fancy shirt, you understand, but certainly more attractive than a hoodie.
The three year old actually did a doubletake. And I'll try to get the timing right, in my punctuation and structure here. She took a step backward, put her hands out at her sides, flat and slighty raised, and said:
Score one for the grungy moms of the world! This little affirmation moment came at a good time (but then again, don't they all?), as I was in the midst of one of my episodes of existential angst, sturm und drang, if you will, and her little cartoon-character voice just pulled me right out.
And this will serve as my reminder: there is very little wrong in life that a v-neck t-shirt cannot make right.
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And to swing the pendulum all the way back in the other direction for a moment, I also heard a child say this today, to describe why he wasn't feeling well: "It's like a bunch of tiny hammers all banging around in my head at the same time." That's my boy, the one who thinks "too much" and worries about people and wants everyone to be so, so happy. My boy who tells me a little white lie, and then can't stop feeling bad about it, long after I've forgotten it completely. My boy who is searching already for the meaning of life and isn't always very happy with the answers the world shows him. My boy who loves to talk, a trait that will forever make me both grateful and crazed. My boy, who couldn't sleep tonight and couldn't even watch the season opener of Dancing With the Stars because he was so distracted and full of thought.
I remember when I was a little girl, nothing soothed me more, or made me feel more relaxed than having someone play with my hair, trace my face, or rub my back. He's also my boy in this respect: I know I can help him, can soothe him, if we lie down and talk, and I play with his hair and rub his back. You know what I love about him? Reason #673? That in one moment he'll say that he just can't explain what he's thinking or how he's feeling, and in the next moment, words are pouring out of him in poetry and plenty. Give him just a pinch of space and time, and you'll hear everything you need to know. That's a good quality to have in someone on the brink of the teenage years.
Tonight was no exception. And no wonder he felt like hammers were pinging around in his head: he had a lot to say about his day and his life and his surroundings tonight. If only we all had that time and space to talk until we were all talked out. He's sleeping like a baby now.
Talk and touch: two things we all need. And in my case, a v-neck t-shirt doesn't hurt either.
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