Rain and Pain Revisited
Sometimes? I stalk myself.
Which means...sometimes I dig deep into my blog archives to remind myself that once upon a time, I wrote stuff worth reading. Because sometimes, and this also falls under the confession umbrella, I worry that maybe I've already written the greatest stuff my brain can muster up and there just isn't any more left. I do it to assure myself that if I did it then, I can do it now.
So today I ran across this. WOW. I wrote this piece five years ago; waaaaaaaaay back before we discovered that Diminutive One had Asperger's. See...I knew, even then, that there was something more than "Spirited". I just didn't know what or how much or if it could be fixed. But it's strange how that knowledge does not change the sentiments I expressed in this piece. It's only defined them a little bit and perhaps made them more legitimate in the eyes of the world. I'm not crazy and neither is my kid.
It's kind of weird to read old stuff. It's almost like traveling back in time.We all put a lot of baggage behind us in order to get out of bed everyday and experience new stuff that then has to be put behind us as well. Some of that is probably best left in the past, but some of it, I think, can lend perspective to the present and future. But it is a little eerie to delve back into your own psyche.
So...travel back with me and enjoy.
Last Mother's Day, I received an iPod from my wonderful
If you have an iPod, you know that iTunes will make recommendations based on music you've already downloaded. Since I'm still kind of a neophyte when it comes to popular music in the new millenium, the suggestions are welcome. I often find that they are very accurate in matching music to my taste.
Recently I downloaded "No Rain" by Blind Melon on the sage advice of iTunes. I immediately liked it, and I've played at least seven times in a row every day for the last week. Then I watched the video on YouTube, and found the lead singer very charasmatic and compelling in a quirky and eccentric kind of way.
I was sold on Blind Melon and decided that I needed to find more music by this band.
Imagine my surprise to find that the lead singer died of a cocaine overdose 12 years ago.
12 years ago I had a brand new baby (my first) and my focus was on sleep, keeping my breasts from exploding in public, and keeping my infant alive, which, at the time, seemed like a ridiculously tall order for someone as obviously as inept as I. The point is, popular music was about as low down on my list of priorities as intercourse.
So, though the Bee girl did spark a curious deja vu, and though I'm sure his sad and sordid demise was reported on the news, the name Shannon Hoon meant nothing to me. Thus, the information passed through the internal filter that rejected anything not immediately pertaining to sleep, boob expolosions, and the care and feeding one very small and very helpless infant.
For for some reason, I was inordinately and inexplicably bummed out by the death of some musician I wasn't even aware of a week ago, and who has not been on this earth for twelve years.
Indulging my natural tendency towards nosiness, I Googled (funny how that word has become part of our cultural lexicon) his name and began reading.
I was immediately struck by how descriptions of him were eerily similar to how I would describe my youngest, spirited child...my Diminutive One.
Now, I'm a writer, and as such, I have natural predilection for artistic exaggeration. But I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that the hair on my arms stood up as I read, and a chill slithered down my spine.
He is described as being larger than life, as having an expansive personality and an insatiable appetite for things he loved. He lived a life of excess, not just in terms of addiction, but in every respect. He was, by all accounts, a born performer, a natural and undisputed frontman. He was his own man with his own ideas.
These traits, though they contributed to a kind genius that is still talked about by other artists, are the very same that made him difficult to be around at times. He could be inflexible. Moody. Uncommunicative. And yet...it was impossible to be angry with him. Because, as one of his former bandmates said "Not a day went by that he didn't do something amazing." He was "A tyrant and an angel."
Jesus, what a waste.
I have always felt, with that peculiar brand of maternal presentiment, that Diminutive One was bound for greatness. Because I can't believe a spark that burns that hot and bright was meant to languish in a life of mediocrity. But I have also feared that such a spark can only burn so long before it consumes itself in a catacylsm of brilliance, madness, and voracity.
My Diminutive One is sometimes exhausting to be around, even when he isn't being particularly contrary or defiant. There is such energy and spirit and character to him, that it cannot be sustained unless it feeds on those around him. He can crack your bones and suck out the marrow with his presence, leaving you feeling empty, defeated and diminished.
But there are times that the dazzling beauty of him will lift you higher than you ever thought possible. Those are the times that I fear for him the most, because I fear the loss of it with a cold, icy dread.
I think Shannon's mother must have been ripped apart by his ignoble death. Surely someone who lived so enormously should have died in the manner set forth by the heroes of our childhood. Surely someone such as he should have exited in a blaze of perfect, dignified, sublime glory. But I think that perhaps she expected it, like she probably also suspected that he would be not leave this world without having changed it.
It's a kind of pain I hesitate to imagine, and one that I can't help contemplating.
I guess that's what it is to be the mother of a child like that. We hope for the best, expect the worst and try like hell not to wish away the moments that may be all too few.
If you have a Spirited Child, I want to tell you...don't waste time wishing for what can never be. Your child and mine will never be the quiet one, the well-mannered one, the "good" one. Celebrate them for what they are, in all their bigness, because living small is not in the cards for them.
And we, as their mothers, can only watch and hope, and sometimes guide. It's a deep ache to be sure, always wondering what will become of them, but it's also a sweet pain knowing that whatever comes, it will not be ordinary.
Our children will make their mark on this world
(Also worth noting...one of the comments, left by "Anonymous" said, "So...you're one of THOSE Mommies." Not sure exactly what that was supposed to imply, but, regardless, I'm sure the answer is yes. Asswipe.)