It's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Empathizing With the Rock Biter

On Wednesday Cecilia came to work with me.  I have been toting Dominic around with me all day every day, and Cecilia said last week she wanted to go with me to work, so this week I sent Dominic and Charlotte to the babysitter, Mrs. Christy's, house, and brought Cec with me.  The weather couldn't have been nicer, especially for this time of year, and right before lunch we decided to take a little walk.  She knew where we were going, my favorite place on the farm isn't too far, and we buried Java there last year and went and visited him a few times last year together.  When we got there, we said a few nice words to Java, then Cecilia wanted to head down to the creek just below us.  There's two little waterfalls, and a big puddle, and I'm content nowadays to just stand nearby and listen to the creek's song, but Cecilia kept asking to go closer.  I remember spending so many years of my life hopping from stone to stone on creek after creek, so before we knew it we were standing in the middle of the creek on a big rock covered in wet moss.  Cecilia is a very cautious child, asking everytime, "Mom, can I stand on that rock now?"  She moved to the other side of the creek, hung on a sapling, raised her feet, and the tiny tree broke at the bottom, and she fell over flat on her back.  She cried immediately, that piercing "I'm hurt" cry, and I reached down to pick her up.  I thought maybe she had the wind knocked out of her, and she was scared, but when I put my hand up to her neck I instantly saw blood.  Her blond curls quickly turned red as I climbed, huffing and puffing up the first hill.  I don't do very well with blood, but I knew I had to hold it together for her.  She couldn't see what I could see, which made it much better for her.  It was a long trek from the bottom of the creek to the top of the first hill, carrying all 35 pounds of her, but my adrenaline was moving me forward.  We stopped for a minute, I put her down, and surveyed her wound.  The bleeding had already slowed down, but I couldn't see much.  My fingers were sticky and her collar was reddish brown.  I picked her back up, went down a little hill, and back up another hill to the winery building.  I sat her on the toilet and found Dad.  He looked at her head, said the cut was about a half inch, and not too bad and suggested we take her up to his house to clean her up a little better.  At Dad's house he washed a few curls and her cut with a little soap and water by the kitchen sink, dried her now pink hair with a soft towel, put some triple antibiotic salve on her head, and sat her down to watch some Tom and Jerry and eat a brownie.  She stopped crying, we ate some lunch and she felt better.  I will have to admit I didn't get much work done Wednesday afternoon.  I didn't want to lay her down for a nap in case she had a concussion, so we played ring around the rosie, and took a short walk through the vineyard.  She happily bound around, little curls, some of them blood stained and greasy, moving with every step, and she called out to me, 'Skip with me momma."  I was so happy she was ok.    We got home and showed John, took a nice bath that night and cleaned the cut and her hair real well, and she hasn't mentioned it since, except when Dad called yesterday to see how she was doing.

I, on the other hand, can't get it out of my mind.  I was standing right there...she's so cautious....I spent my entire childhood doing just what she was doing...what kind of mother am I?  Why do I have all these nurturing instincts if they can't help me?  I replay the whole scenario everytime I lay down to sleep, everytime I do the dishes, everytime I take a shower.  I'm reminded of a character of one of my favorite movies, The Neverending Story.  In it, there's a guy called the Rock Biter.  He's made of rock, his whole body, and he's so strong.  They are all running away from The Nothing, and he tries to hold on to his friends, but The Nothing sucks them out of his hands like a vacuum.  He sits there, defeated, and tells his friend, Atreyu, "They look like big, good, strong hands. Don't they? I always thought that's what they were. My little friends. The little man with his racing snail, the Nighthob, even the stupid bat. I couldn't hold on to them. The nothing pulled them right out of my hands. I failed."  

This is how I feel when I think about this incident with Cecilia, and also when Charlotte burned her hand two years ago.  I feel like I am equipped with all the makings of a good mom, but sometimes I fail.  I know this is part of parenting, and I can't shield them from everything bad, but it seems like such a kick in the face to have it happen right in front of me, right when I'm standing right there.  I know this anxiety will pass, and sadly, I know this isn't the last time I will feel like this.

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