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South | North

On Socialization

It's been a week of progress here, growing even happier.  It's hard to see it, sometimes, but I can watch things inch along back to where they should be.  Each day passes and Roan can play more and more.  He built a house and furnished it yesterday.  He and Willow made a factory, and he's been pretending to be our family dog.  I think play is a big indicator of what is going on with a child, very big.  A child who cannot find the zone and play is a child who is in trouble.  In addition, I've watched Roan become sweeter, with less mischief.  Laurel woke up from her nap and he grated cheese for her and shaped it into little balls.  They both love cheese.  He had hidden Willow's boots and she and I found them.  We waited and he told us about it on his own.  These are so small, but they are really signs of healing.

Yesterday, he would ask about playing with the family in question again every few hours.  I could tell he was dealing with his thoughts on it, as his mood was difficult at times.  I would have never imagined a young child could have had such a struggle as has happened over something that seemed so simple.  But, children are mirrors of their world.  As much as you try to create a safe, creative home, outside influences can shape things in a big way.  Other families have other stories that shape the people within them and they are reflected outward.  Those things, in turn, shape onlookers, like Roan.  There are times when we have to protect ourselves and pray for others.  It does work!

Cooking Photo

I am trying to say all this with great sensitivity, again.  I think of something, type it out, delete it, and try again.  I don't want to be unkind or judgemental in this space.  It's not the place for it.  I live in a mostly supportive environment, but there is always someone who has to lay the pressure on about children learning to be around other children.  The decades have passed for them and time has smoothed things over.  Playground struggles are just memories.  Roan and I, I think, are both fairly sensitive people.  I remember very vividly the challenges of "friends" and I have seen the gift of true friends.  He will learn the difference, too, in time.  I suppose that the whole experience here, with all of its peculiar details, has let me know how much I matter and how I need to trust my judgement above the outside remarks.

Perhaps, though, we have to go on these odysseys in order to really feel certain of what is inside of us, to really know how much each person matters.  It is hard for my children to be without their father five days a week as he works in other states.  It is hard to be the only person steering the ship in the unrelenting waves of life.  I've considered alternative scenarios where they go to school and I go to work and that is absolutely not for us.  We'd have so little time together and being the only adult would be even harder.  We do like to be here together and out in the community together.  Like I told someone at a Board of Supervisors meeting the other day--we are a package deal.

Honeyed Seashells

Take stock of what your children are doing, who they are around.  Don't assume that all interactions that seem mostly happy truly are.  Maybe we are more vulnerable because there is an attachment gap in our family, with Mike on the road.  I really hesitate to say much, for fear of judgement, but it is okay to have limits on social options and time in a world where "being social" is a high goal.  It is okay to hold onto your kids and keep them close as they come into this world and sort out who they are.  Children are meant to be sweet, I think, not the saccharine kind that adults expect, but truly sweet.  They are meant to feel safe and loved and open as they navigate things, and they can find creativity and joy within the careful boundaries their parents set for them.  Every family has to decide and live with their choices.  Ours, well, they weren't working.  And now we're doing something different, more like the old days when everyone was little.  It is good to see play come back into our days, and it is even better for everyone to feel more loved.


( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )
Caterina Fusca
Jun. 17th, 2016 12:33 pm (UTC)
This was a beautiful post, that truly resonated with me. Our family is quite similar. Keep trusting yourself.
Jun. 20th, 2016 10:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words!
Jun. 17th, 2016 06:35 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you've come through the "storm" to the other side and that things are peaceful again. I agree -- we need to guard our space and our people when things start creeping in that don't feel right. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right balance (and sometimes our children take awhile to adjust back to being around less "friends", but then it ends up being very good). I am finding myself in a similar head space as you right now. This move has been so good for us, to get out from under the constant pressure to letting them play in other "yards". We had it coming from every direction, being in an apartment complex of sorts.

A family is the best place to learn socialization at this age.
Jun. 20th, 2016 10:08 am (UTC)
I imagine it was very overwhelming living where you did. Hugs.
( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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