Life in progress


A Difficult Day

It’s been a particularly tough day with my son, Alex today. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s a Deaf, four foot tall, cute as a button thirteen year old who has somehow managed to combine adolescence with the terrible twos. He has scabs on both knees from a fall he took last week. They were both healing nicely but …

Alex can’t leave a scab alone. It doesn’t matter if he opens it up again, he’ll just keep picking and picking until it gets infected and I have no idea what to do. Today I tried the following:

1. Telling him “no.”

2. Taking away his laptop and turning off the tv.

3. Putting him in his room.

4. Saying please (trying to reason with him).

5. Putting a bandage on it. (He took it off.)

6. Restraining him.

7. Ignoring him.

8. Putting a cloth damp with rubbing alcohol on the cuts (which by that time were oozing pus).

9. Threatening to put MORE alcohol on if he didn’t stop touching it (in the end he held the alcohol-soaked cloth on it himself).

And what, of all this worked eventually? Ignoring him. For a limited amount of time.

This has been my day from the moment I woke up to the moment he finally went to sleep after whining that his knees hurt for about an hour from the time he went to bed.

Any suggestions? Because I’m looking forward to the same thing tomorrow and every day until he goes to his dad’s on Monday… and at this rate every other day ’til Christmas, if it’s healed by then.

P.S. If you “like” this post I’ll consider it support. 🙂


Intuition, Fear, and What a Bird Taught Me

Imagine it: you’re just puttering along, living your life as usual and then suddenly an opportunity arises. You have a chance to do something you’ve dreamed of doing for years – something completely different from your ordinary life. Something so “out of the box” that the mere prospect scares you as much as it excites you. It’s not something that’s too good to be true – it IS true. But it’s so far removed from your comfort zone that you begin to wonder – is it fear that’s making me hesitate? Or is it my intuition kicking in, telling me there’s something wrong with the picture, or that if I go for it, something bad will happen? What do you trust?

Many people I know would pray for guidance. Some would trust that if the universe dropped the ideal scenario in front of them, they should take it. But what if you had no actual faith? This is where I lapse into the story of the bird.

It was about twenty-five years ago, back when I owned a horse. I arrived at the barn where I had him boarded one day to find a young barn swallow stuck in the window. The walls of the barn were thick – if I was to guess I’d have to say eighteen inches to two feet, which was about the depth of the window sill. The door was only a foot away from the window, and the other members of the bird’s family were frantically flying in and out of the barn. I had no idea how long the one who had missed the door and hit the window instead had been flapping around in the window but it still had plenty of energy. I couldn’t let it die there, so I decided to try to help it.

After a few fruitless attempts to catch it, which only resulted in tiring it out so much that I was afraid it would have a heart attack, I rested my hand on the sill. It stopped trying to get out; it watched me instead. Gradually I moved my hand closer to the bird until I was able to touch it. Still, it didn’t move. Rather than trying to grab it, I nudged its breast with one finger and the tiny, frightened bird stepped on my finger.

As I stepped back away from the window, hoping the bird would stay on my finger, I marveled at the weightlessness of it – of its breath, so fast, its little eye staring at me, weighing with its own sense of self-preservation whether or not it should trust me. It did stay on my finger as I passed across the door post and as I reached the door, one of its siblings flew past my head and with it my little bird took flight.

I’ve never forgotten that experience.

Back to my original scenario: the opportunity may not be one of life or death, but imagine if it’s no less scary than trusting in something as unknown as a human to a wild bird – as unknown as God or the universe to a human. Was it intuition that drove the fledgling to trust me?

So you’re faced with an opportunity: something that’s entirely foreign and yet it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing.

What do you trust? How do you know the difference between fear and intuition? Or do you simply have faith?