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Monday, April 1, 2013
I Need The Whales, Mom!
I am nibbling on a pice of sourdough baguette from Bread and Cie. If you are ever in San Diego, this place is awesome. You should really check it out. I got this loaf at a local health food store.
Today we are going to discuss another 'elephant in the room'. It is a talk story about the children who shuttle back and forth between two homes. I am not a psychologist, I am a physician, but it is clear to me that something is terribly wrong for children who experience life like this.
The first concept is: the relationship between the parents did not last.
Therefore, the underlying ability of one parent, or both, and their families of origins, has some element of dysfunction, yes? Ah, you might ask, what if MY family put the FUN in dysfunctional? We don't want to be tied down to all the responsibility of raising a kid! Sure, we will do our part, but... For whatever reason, and that was just the first thought that came into my mind, and has NOTHING to do with my situation...
The second concept is: the child has to learn two sets of Tribal Beliefs and in the best of all situations, transition seamlessly between the two.
The third concept is: mammals are designed for the parents, particularly the mother, observe the baby in all situations to protect and socialize the child. Even a mouse needs some time to teach its young adult offspring 'how to be a mouse'. With every other weekend, a significant part of the time I am not there to assist in this function.
The fourth concept is: holiday expectation, alcohol, even in the form of a 'mimosa', and venting frustration lead to emotional pain on the part of the child. I was the only child there! Everyone had alcohol. They made the easter egg hunt really hard and I had to do it in less than five minutes! And grandmother told me--in front of everyone--it looks like you didn't even brush your teeth or comb your hair! He felt shame, embarrassment, and humiliation from this comment that, to an adult, was clearly aimed at the father who was responsible for dressing up the boy for Easter Brunch. I did not send any clothes, he outgrew them. I did not remind the dad because I do not know the families 'holiday dress code for Easter'. In our family, shorts and a collar shirt are fine. And no, he did not brush his teeth or comb his hair that day. No one thought to remind him.
The fifth concept is: older children hide their pain. Today was an odd day. Father looked all smiles at transfer, which is not good, but son seemed okay to give a hug. When son avoids father, I know they had a fight. A little later with discovery of Easter Bunny goodies right on his bed, the little one jumps for joy! But at hotel, weirdness started to pop up. Won't eat. Won't buy room service when offered that after all food in hotel we brought was not good. 'All the room service food is gross, mom! (go vegan! go raw! big cheer for that--hotel food is a GMO mo fo as far as I am concerned...).
The sixth conce;t is: love is the solution for everything. 'You don't know how I feel, mom! You don't know the PAIN from (this mornings' Easter away from you, mom)'. I said, 'Yes and no. I just spaced out because it did not seem like Easter without you. I had my own pain too. But if you share, I will comfort you. I do not know unless you share. It is my job to help in times like this.' The story came out, and I just held him as the healing tears flowed.
'Out of all the women in the world, who do you think most of them are like, honey? Mommy or Grandmother?'
'No. Most are like Grandmother. They love in their own way, but they are not able to put your needs first. It is not through any fault of them. It is just their way. You are here with me now. You are lucky to be have me.'
And then I saw the need to blow the nose, and I understood why Spirit had me pack a box of our favorite tissues, Puffs Plus, earlier for the trip. I got them out of my suitcase and helped him blow. He went through about ten in his distress. Then he began to calm. I offered him water to drink.
In the kitchen, sobbing and holding me as I as trying to pour him a glass of water, I embraced my son with his tender heart, and he said, 'I need the whales, mom! I need the whales!'
I need them too.
That is the first plan on the agenda today. We both love whales so much we are part of the whale family. On almost every vacation, when we are not seeing human family, we go out to see whale family. In Hawaii, we once went three times in six days on the best whale watching tour, out of Lahaina. We have been twice to Victoria, BC, and on the Eagle Wing three times. We are regulars out at Dana Point. We have also met Wyland and have several signed works in our home. Also a photo of us three together with our new art. Also there are some whales here in town we know and love very much. One of them has a new baby--a son--we last saw her right before she gave birth...she is my girl, Kasatka, and I love her very, very much. She looked me in the eye once. I felt her think, 'Good mom!'. I value her judgement very much. After all, she is the matriarch of the pod.