There is always that hectic feeling when you have to run errands (doubly hectic as a single parent because you can never “retire” the children to your partner while you actively escape). There have been many moments, these doubly hectic moments, where the lip has folded out (my son’s lip of course), the head tilts downward, the arms lock at the elbows and then wrap around grabbing the lower back, there’s the occasional emphatic “hmph,” and the eye glare (out and beyond into the distance of course–what child would ever set eyes on a mother in pursuit of the grocery store–for milk–for that child’s morning cereal–oh no). Then there’s the body thrash, it’s abrupt, short, a gentle kick that’s just enough to rock the boat but not enough to sink it.
So many adventures like these have I experienced.
Then there’s the moments where parenthood is something else. Something rare, yes rare, that’s right.
There we were, us too, and a dog. En route Famous Footwear to exchange a pair of “too big” clearance-priced basketball shoes. I’d begun my occasional self talk (i.e., I have a complete conversation with myself–an act that I’ve convinced myself only really smart people engage in) when my son interrupted me, “Mom, you know something?” I replied, “What do I know?” “You hold onto a lot. You need to imagine, imagine it’s a big balloon and you just let it float away off into the sky. Or it can be bird, one you hold in your hands and then–you let it fly away.” Then he motioned for me to look behind my seat, there I saw him mimicking his words, “You stand there holding so tightly onto your balloon, but its too hard. Let all the sad things go.”
I asked him where he learned this. He told me it’s what he does when he has to deal with the things in his life that make him sad.