Saturday, August 7, 2010

Growing Pains

When JH was little, he had nightmares about "the bad ladies". They were dressed in black, you couldn't see their faces, and they didn't talk. They came for him silently, and when he was awake, he was always afraid to go certain places, because in his dreams, this was where he'd see the bad ladies.

He sort of laughs about them now, although I know that while it might not be the bad ladies that make him scared to go downstairs in his own house, they started it. His deepest fears. The fears of the unknown, of change. And I've always felt in some mother's intuition way that the bad ladies have something to do with me. This is never anything he's said, but I fear the bad ladies too, and have told him a million times that I would move entire buildings to save him from them. We haven't heard from them in quite a while, but I know they aren't gone completely.

We had a very lazy day here yesterday. Charley's back went out at work the day before, so he's been taking some heavy duty motrin that puts him out like a light. Normally, we'd be out and about, but I think just the stuff emanating from his sleeping form made JH and I really sleepy too, and we didn't fight it.

He took a bath before bedtime, and was taking FOREVER to get out, so I jokingly told him if he didn't get out I was going to get a tattoo. Looking at me, so seriously, said "No you won't." He once told me that he was so grateful that I didn't have any tattoos, and I don't smoke, and I don't pick him up at the bus stop in my pj's and slippers, smoking a cigarette.

"I think maybe a BIG tattoo, of a flower with your name in the middle! Right here on my arm!"

"No you wouldn't! You're not serious..."

"Well, stay there in the tub and you can find out!"

He doesn't move, just looks at me with a strange smile on his face.

"Well, I guess I better go get my cigarettes!". This is the biggest joke of all, so I figure he's on to me for sure...

He burst into redfaced wailing tears, then choking sobs, while I tried to undo the damage. I was CLEARLY joking. I had been laughing when I said it, and we joke about this stuff all the time.

After I had him calm, and wrapped in a towel, his giant, heavy, gangly wet self on my lap, I asked him if he knew I was joking. He said yes, he did, but "I was afraid you wouldn't be you. And I love YOU".

I know just how he feels.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lullabies on repeat

Music has always been important to Joe-Henry. When he was a baby, he'd scream and cry on our two hour drive from Grandma's to home because a) we were leaving Disneyland and headed for the bootcamp that was home, or b) the sun was in his eyes and I'd sing "You are my sunshine" over and over the entire ride because the cd player wasn't working and it was the only song I could remember while being screamed at.

It must have been then that putting songs on repeat became the thing that calmed him, because ever since he's wanted to listen to music at night. Not a whole album - that's too distracting,he wants to listen to the same song, over and over. Nothing new to make him stay awake and think, just the same lyrics and melody, like ocean waves, lulling him to his dreams.

Lately he'll grab my old iphone and put a song on repeat. Usually it's a calm, soothing song, something from Alexi Murdoch, say, or Shawn Colvin. But last night, he chose this song. And I found myself staying in his room after he'd gone to sleep, remembering my freshman year in college.