The Men in My Life

Dad continues to recover well. It’s a slow process. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Mom’s long work days, so it’s a long day alone for Dad. Some things we just didn’t anticipate: We arranged for my friend Cate to cook for Mom and Dad this month. She’s bringing two meals for four people every week. My parents say they are eating Cate’s delicious food four or five days of the week, which is great. But we didn’t anticipate that Dad would have trouble fixing himself a plate of food—the giant containers of food Cate brings are too heavy for him to lift! Weird. I went over there today to get him some lunch and did small chores around the house for them. He’s already bored of watching TV and sitting around, but he can’t do much yet. Dad’s scar is 11 inches long down the center of his chest. Every time I see it I feel a little woozy.


Lucas is great. Yesterday we had his parent-teacher conference with Ms. D. She says Lucas is always an enthusiastic, happy, energetic participant. She says Lucas is a delightful, dear child who brings heart to the class. He is a barometer for the emotional state of the class. Although he is often "rough and tumble," it is frequently Lucas who sounds the alarm when things get too hard, too rough, or too hurtful. He is “rough and tumble” but sensitive. She says he is capable of clearly telling others "You have crossed the line and hurt my feelings in this way." And when he says something like this, the whole class takes note because nobody wants to hurt Lucas’s feelings. She says he is very well liked by everyone. He has made some special bonds with some of his desk partners (two children to a table), and shows particular tenderness and helpfulness toward a little girl named Rita, who had a difficult time transitioning to first grate. He still takes care of Rita, even though he no longer sits right beside her.

   Lucas sometimes rushes when doing his work; he could slow down and do a better job, although there is nothing really wrong with what he’s doing—just that you can see evidence of hurrying in his drawing, his letters, his numbers. I think it may be evidence of wanting to get on to the next thing: they are taking this stuff really, really slowly.

   She observes Lucas chewing a lot on his clothing, which he has done for many years—something I’ve always thought of as a tensional outlet that he relies on when he’s feeling some stress. She thinks we should consider having him evaluated at the Raphael House in Fair Oaks—that sometimes, chewing behavior is evidence of some kind of misalignment or something, and that craniosacral therapy can fix it and make the child more comfortable. She thinks that there may be something acting as an obstacle in his “flow,” for want of a better description, and that it may be hindering his work ever so slightly. I don’t know how much stock I put in craniosacral therapy: It sounds very weird and I’m not too keen on the idea of someone messing with my son’s cranial sutures, but then it’s supposed to be a “light touch” therapy. I do always feel better when I have chiropractic treatments, so maybe it’s similar. Ian, on the other hand, is completely skeptical. I might call them and find out how much such treatments cost.

   In any case, I think that he has the same perfectionist streak in him that both Ian and I have, and that pretty soon, he’ll start noticing when the product of his hands does not quite match up with his vision. (At the moment, he is still invincible and capable of accomplishing anything he can dream up—just ask him.) I do hope that he learns to slow down a bit, so that he can be personally proud of his work. Desire to be perfect can be the enemy of good, as Ian likes to say.

Ian is worried about the state budget, but is otherwise good. We’re missing each other intensely, though. We are biting the bullet and transitioning Asher out of our bedroom and into his own room. This also is a slow process. We bought Asher a twin mattress, took down his hated crib, and set up a bed for him on the floor. If he rolls off it, he won’t get hurt this way. It is just big enough for me to share with him for nighttime nursing or comforting. Since he doesn’t have many positive associations with his bedroom, however, we have resolved to sleeping with him in his room until he gets more comfortable and used to being there. Ian’s been taking a shift with him too, so that helps. But I’m sleeping large portions of the night away from my husband in a small bed and I don’t like it much. Still, I think it is a move in the right direction. In a few days we’ll try leaving him alone for portions of the night. This whole plan has been designed in the hopes of avoiding the hours of "crying it out," which I simply do not have the stomach for or fortitude to endure. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that our kinder, gentler approach works. Nevertheless, I do not regret having kept Asher with us for so long. Sleeping was my highest priority and making decisions with that in mind has ultimately been good for me during Asher’s infancy. Someday, I may be able to sleep through the night with my husband’s arms around me. So mote it be. It is this thought that keeps me going. Ian is ecstatic at the thought of kicking Asher out.

Asher happens to be sick with a cold at the moment. He expresses his discomfort quite clearly through whining, crying, tantruming, clinging, wanting to nurse all the time, not wanting to eat food, and generally being dissatisfied about everything.

   Apart from that, he’s usually pretty wonderful. He’s added new (spoken) words to his vocabulary: “Obama” (hee hee!), “more,” “Lucas” (which is a hilarious attempt because it sounds kind of like “Ligglediggleligglelullu” because he wags his little tongue forward and back to make the l sound), “nuts,” “nana” for banana, and “Halloween” (which he says in a high-pitched voice with great enthusiasm—“Haaweeeeeen”—especially when there is a jack-’o’-lantern or some candy nearby). It’s fun to see him try on new words. He chitter-chatters all the time with appropriate cadence and vocal inflections, but it’s mostly still gibberish.

   A couple of weeks ago, we took Asher to the California Railroad Museum for the first time. He’s becoming interested in … Can you guess? TRAINS. He started playing with toy wooden trains at the babysitters’ and also at my parents’ house, so the other night, we took some tracks and a few train cars out of storage in the garage and brought them indoors. Surprisingly, Lucas jumped right back into playing with the Thomas trains alongside his brother. It is a good thing we didn’t get rid of any of those toys! He also likes playing catch with balls of any size and has a damn good throwing arm, if I do say so myself. 
   We just gave a ton of baby things to Katrina and Jordan, who are expecting their first baby in March. It feels good to let go of these things to people who will need them and love having them. But on another level, it is difficult for me to think we are done having babies—clear evidence that they have driven me completely, off-my-track bonkers over the last six years.


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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