Monday, December 10, 2012

One step at a time

We put the lights on the tree last night and draped the gold tinsel. We hung this year's new ornaments that I give each child and The Husband every year, but that was all. In keeping with a more relaxed version of the holidays, that was all we did. We'll continue to hang our beautiful ornaments over the next few days and hopefully get some help in putting lights on the outside. Oliver, as always, wants to add to the already outrageous amount of crap we have, but I was able to put the nay on his suggestion for a big blow-up snowman.

One day at a time, I whispered into Oliver's ear this morning when I hugged him good-bye before school. He's been having an inordinately difficult time the past few weeks, enough to make me sick with worry, but I'm trying to take it slow, acknowledge that I'm doing everything I can to help him, one step at a time. I've been doing this for so long with Sophie, you'd think it would be a piece of cake with a typical kid, but it's not.

It's Emily Dickinson's birthday today, one of my favorite poets. Here's a random poem I plucked out of my book of her collected poetry, perfect for the season.

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—

The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that 'twould be
A rugged Billion Miles


  1. And now the post is back and the fonts engineered. Cheers! The tree is lovely in all its stages. So is your family.

  2. Since our boys arrive on Saturday and will only be here three days, I'm doing the decorating--well, planning to do the decorating. I have been busy in the kitchen. I do hope things settled down for sweet Oliver (and for you) soon.


  3. I think you already know this, but my "typical" kid is so much harder than my kid who came with a label. And that old soul Oliver just needs his body to catch up with his psyche. He will be fine, I am confident (not to minimize the worry and stress you are feeling, just to be optimistic)....

  4. Yes. All will be well with that boy which does not mean you aren't right to worry and do everything in your power to help him now. why all will be well.

  5. I'm sorry things are hard right now for Oliver. We've been there...seems like we are always there. Your boy is in good hands. You will know what and when, and one day at a time is the best advice possible. For both of you. xxk

  6. A lovely tree and a lovely, pensive way to decorate and welcome the season. My heart goes out to you and Oliver. He's a deep boy, that one and while the depth may haunt him a little now; I see him becoming you: thoughtful, introspective, observant and seeing both the beauty and the horror in this world that the rest of us miss. He's lucky he's got you as his mom.

  7. I recommend Bach Flower remedies for your son. Rescue is good for the really hard times. A good Bach Flower practitioner could help with his general state of mind thesse days. And what about homeopathic Hypericum? Easy St. John's Wort, if he won't take the actual herb. It just takes the edge off. I remember the high anxiety at that age...omg, I do remember.

  8. I second the Bach Flower remedies. There are lozenges that my Lola loves and they take the edge off. We also bought a vibrating pillow from Amazon last year that works wonders. She simply hugs it to her middle when she's feeling anxious and the vibrations against her core signal her nervous system to let go and calm. I have been known to use it myself. They're inexpensive and only need a couple of batteries and they look like normal pillows - no stigma. Email me if you want details.

    Also, I've used a guided meditation I call "cheesecloth" with Lola and she now does it herself. It's amazing. If he's interested, you can find it by searching "cheesecloth" on my blog. Or email me.

    Love to you all. The tree is gorgeous.

  9. You know I'm right there with you with the whole "one step at a time" motto. you can't savor and learn if you're racing through anything. and i too love emily dickinson. didn't know it was her bday today!

  10. It's so hard to have a child who is miserable in school. There were years when the dread in the pit of my stomach was so heavy I could barely make it up the stairs to wake the girl of mine who struggled so. Hoping you and the big O get a much needed respite over the holidays. Thinking of you.

  11. Does it ever get easier being a parent? I think not. My son struggles with school too. I tell him that he should try his best but school is all bullshit. It has very little to do with the kind of adult he is going to be. My son is a sensitive and gentle soul that doesn't fit into the athletics or academics. He has oodles of friends but is still a loner. One day he is going to see that Grade 12 History class is meaningless. What matters is all the stuff they don't teach in school. Having a heart and being kind and funny and compassionate is what matters. Having integrity and knowing how to cook a meal so you can feed yourself is what matters. So much more. But not grades. Not really.

    And you can tell Oliver this. When I was his age I was failing almost every subject. It took me 4 tries to pass math 11! When I graduated I had C- in all my academic courses. I was so stupid! Or so I was told. It turned out that I wasn't. I was actually crazy intelligent. When I finally got the nerve up to go to college I graduated with a 4.0 at the top of my class. Now I am in a career I love. Don't despair, Oliver. You are going to be more than OK. Follow your heart because it is huge. Unfortunately, we live in a world where brains,beauty and brawn are noticed but having a heart is what matters. Your compassion is going to lead you to do great things. Trust me. Just trust me.

  12. is Oliver in fifth grade?
    so far fifth and sixth grade have been the toughest for us .... my Hilary is in fifth - and this is her first year of getting in trouble with the teacher. Maybe they begin to question things and feel like saying something about it .... just a thought.



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