Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Golden Ticket

There are too many things crowding my brain these days all competing for attention at the same time like a bunch of unruly toddlers constantly interrupting each other and shoving one another out of my lap before I have even registered fully which is there.  I can’t seem to impose any order there inside my head so I’m spewing them out here in hopes that on paper they will be more manageable.  That I’ll be able to order them into some understandable pattern I can then address.  I have to stay as I get started I’m not very optimistic.

Little Man told me a story this morning.  Or more accurately I coaxed one out of him based on a random comment he made to me.  As we were driving back from the grocery store he told me
“Mom I wish I could dive in the pond and swim with a fish.” 

I could have just let it go with a “Mm Hmm that’s nice honey”  (I’m ashamed to admit that many days I probably would have – I let myself get to busy with things that don’t really matter)  But instead I turned down the radio and asked him, “What would you do with the fish?”

“We would play tag” 

“What kind of fish would this be?” 

“Big….and friendly …. And white with black fins and tail.”  (This, of course, is the color of the gold fish that swims the little tank in his room) 

“And what would you do after you finished playing tag?” I asked. 

“We would eat peanut butter sandwiches and laugh and laugh and laugh.“

My brain is trying to weave all those many things that have been jumping about in my head into that short interchange; Little Man’s communication struggles and what to do about them, his trouble making friends at school. The behavior issues we’ve been seeing at school (and home),  the wider issues with public schooling in general, the need to make the world more inclusive and accommodating.

How easy it is to miss what is really important in an interlude like this if we don’t stay in tune with what is going on in each moment!  Little Man’s inner life and imagination are so rich.  Yes of course it must be frustrating for him to struggle so to share it.  There will always be time to worry that his imaginary friends dominate his life because he has so few real ones.  And time to be sad that the world is so rushed all the time they can’t slow down enough to know him.  But the real wonder here is that he stays so sweet so funny and so interested in the world that rushes by him. 

I have no idea where I am going with this post.  Trying to spill my thoughts out on paper is not making them any more manageable.  I am sad that I can’t seem to find a way to make the world work better for my beautiful boy but I’m also so overwhelmingly happy that I have him, that when I remember to slow down and really try, I can peek into his world.  It is a world of magic and whimsy.  It is such an unimaginably lovely place, one where little boys and silvery white fishies slump together in tired contentment munching on peanut butter sandwiches after a long golden afternoon’s play.

I stumbled across an artist James Browne recently – one that draws fairies and elves and magical pictures that he inserts his own little boy’s image into.  I wish I had that kind of talent.  I wish I could illustrate my Little Man’s dreams but sadly I struggle to make stick figures look presentable.  I suppose that instead of bringing his world out for all to see what I really need to do is spend more time entering into it with him and just enjoying the fact that I am welcome there.   I am one of the few, after all, that has been granted an entry ticket.


  1. My Anna is very clever like that! Weaving the most elaborate stories. She is Little Man's age, I hope they never lose the ability to imagine.

  2. Linda - Little man has the most amazing imagination but he struggles so to communicate that people often miss it. I've been very sad recently because it seems as if his communication skills are going backwards not forwards. I know I just need to relax and have faith. He always has this issue of two steps back in order to move forward.

    I wrote out his story for him and we worked on making a paper collage picture of him and his fish playing in the water. Time much better spent than worrying.