The hard stuff

The hard stuff

Just because the world keeps spinning, the GOP shovels out an amazing amount of anti-woman rhetoric and actions, work piles up, and laundry needs to be done doesn’t mean the hard work of parenting eases up. Sadly.

A few weeks ago, I had one of the hardest conversations I have ever had with the kiddo. Because of a fundraiser coming up, it was long overdue. And so, he now knows that his beloved ‘Little John’ didn’t just die, he committed suicide. Sean is a processor. He asks a bunch of questions and then stews. And things pop out from time to time as he keeps chewing things over in his head. And so after a bunch of questions, some tears, and lots of sadness, I waited. Waited for the glimmers to start.

Sean has not wanted to cook with me very much since that horrible day in the fall. John had promised to bring him into the kitchen and teach him. John was his Brookside market buddy. So I had my suspicions. I’ve not pushed it, but have given him opportunities to help and join in, and let him scamper back to whatever he was doing when he hits the ‘done now’ point. This morning we made cheese crackers, and it was the longest he’s stuck with a recipe since the fall.

“This is fun!” he said, sounding mildly surprised. “Yeah, it is” I assured him, nudging him and grinning. After the crackers were all cut and ready to go, he slunk off, calling back ‘please bring me crackers when they’re done!’, but he was back downstairs before I could bring them up. As he popped one in his mouth he nodded appreciatively, then sighed.

I gathered him close and buried my face in his ridiculous hair. “We,” I whispered, “Can still have a wonderful time in the kitchen together. It’s not being mean to his memory. He would want you to love to cook.” Sean went wide eyed, as if to ask how did I know what he was worried about, then squeezed me so hard I gasped.

This is the stuff the books don’t warn you about. Sleep on the one side and don’t eat deli meat and no advil and don’t start regular milk too soon and and and. There’s no map for this. And so the Lad and I stumble along, armed with our verbal machetes, trying to clear a path for the little man.

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