Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Talisman

A navy blue newsboy cap,
a gray fleece jacket,
dark blue baggy jeans, fashionably frayed at the cuffs,
a button down shirt with gray, navy and white stripes,
(handed down from his brother),
a white undershirt,
brown tennis shoes with tan laces,
a navy blue and orange Land's End backpack that has seen better days.

Medium brown hair that curls under around his ears
and at the nape of his neck,
large eyes that are bluish grayish greenish,
lots of freckles that he hates,
and a large one on his lower right cheek,
a gap between his front teeth,
one of which is chipped and won't stay capped,
a little bit of a double chin; the last vestiges of baby fat,
height? I still have to stoop to give him a hug,
stocky but not fat, solid and strong.


He looks very small, standing out there, just across the street. He waits for the bus alone in the dark; too old for hand holding, too proud for company.

But I watch. I can't not.

I need to know he is safe, at least as safe as he can be out of my sight, out of my hands, out of my care. I remember the days when nothing took my children from my side. They were hard, those days, but they were also serene. I trusted myself.

And if I had a moment of irrational fear, I could simply touch, listen, intuit. I could calm my worry with the balm of their slow easy breathing, the warmth of their velvet skin, their aroma of powder and milk. I could smell, taste, and touch their wellbeing.

But the day came of course, when they left me. When I had to trust someone else to keep them safe.

It was very hard...for me.

They took it all in stride, treating it as a great adventure, which of course, it was. They were drunk with independance; high on autonomy. They didn't look back. Only forward for them, always forward.

It's gotten easier over the years, but I still occasionally have moments of stomach clutching fear. What if something happens to one of them? How would I go on?

I have no prayers and no God to hear them.

So, as he stands there, I catalogue him. It's my talisman against evil. My mother mantra. My bad things don't happen to good people charm.

If he gets lost or snatched, I know that he is there in my mind, just the way he looked right before he left me, whole and safe. I can tell the officers exactly what he was wearing, right down to the smallest detail. And they will tell me that with such a description, they will have no trouble at all finding him.

And they will ask me, "Ma'am, did you actually see him get on the bus?" And I can say with great certainty, "YES officer, I did."

The bus comes, and as it pulls up he is hidden from my view. I can see only his feet, which disappear one by one as he mounts the steps. I keep watching, and then I see his head bobbing down the aisle. He takes his seat, and I can see him no more.

Only then do I close the door on the world that has swallowed my child like a great beast swallows a tender morsel.

And I say to myself...

A navy blue newsboy cap,
a gray fleece jacket,
dark blue baggy jeans....

24 Comments:

  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Oh, God, BA, this is so lovely.

    And so familiar. Because I too watch Jack's head bobbing on the bus, and I don't turn away until the bus is out of my line of sight. I even check the number of the bus each morning to make sure that it's the right one. I watch him climb the three steps. Watch him high-five the bus driver...

    Will it ever lessen, this fear?

     
  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous AA said…

    I believe there is a God, he just can't keep our children safe. We have to do the best we can, and sometimes that is not enough.

    Sometimes I have a thought in the middle of the day, "Oh no, I can't remember what he has on today". And it will scare me.

    I try hard to teach him to help keep himself safe without scaring him. It's tough this fear.

    I only let mine ride the bus in the afternoons - from his school to the one where I work. I have to take him in the mornings because I know I would be crazy all day wondering if he really got in the building.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said…

    I wish I didn't know what this post was all about.

     
  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    This put a big ole lump in my throat, BA. Such a double-edged sword: wanting them to GET BIG, yet stay little forever.

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Drowning Pisces said…

    BA.. Wow. I don't have kids, but I know how protective I am of children. It's funny, as I drive to work, through some not so great parts of town, I do something similar... I watch, especially the tiny ones and I take mental notes of license plates of the cars that are around...god forbid.. just in case.

    I love your writing.

     
  • At 11:53 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    This is definitely something I would do. But I don't think I could have summed it up so perfectly.

     
  • At 11:57 AM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Girl, I know exactly how you feel! This was beautifully written.

     
  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    I'm arguing with this post in my head because I still want to believe - in direct contradiction to all the evidence - that reaching school age is what makes everything easier.

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I don't know how moms do it.This was beautiful

     
  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger furiousBall said…

    Owww, this post got me right here *pointing at hearty area*, I can't even watch my kids get on the bus any more. But I have this same worry. Somedays I don't even get them on the phone.

     
  • At 2:10 PM, Blogger Chanda (aka Bea) said…

    It's writing like this that makes me wish I had children- even with the fear, that kind of love is unmatched. Beautiful.

     
  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger mrinz said…

    And it will be the same even when they are adults!

    When our adult children set off on a long car journey,I make them promise to call when they arrive so I know they are home safely.

     
  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger WI Mommy said…

    oh - I am soooo afraid to send him off to school. At least I still have a few years yet. Sigh.

    (I am actually more afraid that I won't be able to handle it - he'll be just fine. That part will probably hurt the most.)

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Ah, this is a lovely post, and a bit of a reminder that I'm not the only one who does this.

     
  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger Jozet at Halushki said…

    Exactly.

    Exactly.

    Perfectly and beautifully said.

     
  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger jen said…

    oh honey.

     
  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger anne said…

    BA, at first I thought you were describing what you wore to the writer's group meeting!

    But what a beautiful post!

    And it's crazy - this fear never really goes away. It just kind of shifts and adjusts.

    Just wonderful.

     
  • At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Barb said…

    This line broke my heart:

    "I have no prayers and no God to hear them."

    I will pray for you and your boys tonight.

     
  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    As soon as I read the first few lines, I though to myself " she's describing him to a Police Officer" and that scared me.

    The idea that I still sometimes do the same thing with the Princess also scares me. She's 24 now, and sometimes the worries are worse than when she was younger.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Kiy said…

    Oh wow. This post just grabbed me. Mine is not even one, but growing so fast. And your post hammered home what is coming.

    Touching, amazing post. I still have tears in my eyes.

    Kiy

     
  • At 1:09 PM, Blogger Magpie said…

    That's going to be me in September.

    Lovely post.

     
  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    I just wrote in my last post about how I love homeschooling because I am with my children all day and I feel secure in knowing what they are up to; but even as I wrote it, I knew that it is somewhat of a false security. There will always be those times when my children are out of my sight. I worry when my husband and I are out on a date and the kids are with a babysitter, or when one or both of my children are with my husband instead of me. I worry if I am with them in a store and they want to go just one aisle over to look at toys. I worry when I drop them off at birthday parties or sleepovers. I worry when I drop my oldest off for violin lessons, and I don't drive away until her teacher has closed the door behind her. I believe in God and pray for my children's protection every day, but then I still worry. As you said, I can't not.

     
  • At 3:24 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    That fear is so real to all of us. Zach is only three, and already I know the fear of him disappearing around the corner. Oh, and he knows the wrath of Mommy if he ever does that again.

     
  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I'm not sure I'll be able to survive my oldest's first sleepover. Just too much time, in the dark of night, away from me.

     

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