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Little Heartbreaks

I have plans for you, eggs

I have plans for you, eggs

Once, when my son was three or so, I overheard him talking to himself while we were getting ready for work/preschool.

“This is gonna be fun!” he said.

So I had to look. He had gathered up some plastic Easter eggs, and was smiling at them.

“What’s gonna be fun?” I asked, overwhelmed, as always, by his beautiful little smile at some delight he found on his own.

“I will play with these with my friends.”

Oh no. His school had a prison-strict policy against bringing toys to school.

“Oh, sweetie, you know you can’t take those to school right?”

“OK,” he said. And he was fine. It was fine. But I wasn’t. I felt like I had killed a small creature, his little hope creature, his little fun creature. I have no idea what he was planning to do with the eggs, but it would have made him happy, and even better, he would have shared with his friends and made them happy. And I couldn’t let him. It crushed me.

I know I can’t give him everything he wants. There are some things he wants that aren’t good for him: lots of sweets, no bedtime, a pet dragon. There are some things he wants that wouldn’t really contribute anything to his life, like another truckload of toys. But these little plans, his own first victories, his fledgling imaginations, these are the things that I want him to have, that I feel like a monster for keeping from him.


Agent C is incognito

I took him to school, sans eggs, and cried all the way to work.

Yesterday at camp, my boy missed out on popcorn. Popcorn is a treat, so much tastier because it is special, made just for movie time. He came in late, and the popcorn was already doled out, and the rules say he has to stay seated.

He told me about it last night, and already, already at four, he’s learning to hide his small heartaches. He didn’t want to look at me when he told me, and he tried not to let his voice shake or that tear escape. And I hugged him, and he hugged me hard. Thank goodness we still have that. I wanted my hug to tell him that it mattered. I knew it was more than popcorn.

This morning I asked his teacher what was the right thing to do if he comes in late from another activity and the popcorn is already handed out.

This woman, who I would now like to adopt into my family, gasped. She covered her mouth in horror.
“WHAT? OH NO!! HE DIDN’T GET POPCORN?? Oh, punkin, I’m SO sorry!!”

She looked like she would cry. I felt like I would cry. She understands. And my little boy’s heart is safe with her for the summer.

It all sounds trite, plastic eggs and popcorn. And my soul bleeds for the moms and dads who cry because they can’t feed their children, or can’t see their children, or have to work so many hours that they can’t be sure their care providers are safe, much less concerned about whether or not they get a cup of popcorn.

I know how lucky I am to have the luxury of crying over these little things. Maybe I should toughen up. But maybe if I can do a better job with these things, I can raise a compassionate person who wants to help solve the world’s problems. Or at least one who will hug his own child when she or he cries over popcorn and plastic eggs.

12 thoughts on “Little Heartbreaks

  1. So sweet. Don’t hide your tears lil boy smilecries!! P.s. I’ve been excommunicated from the wwwb group for being to mouthy when I was on my period. If you wanna be my friend on Facebook its my full name Lisa Marie garver. Send me a message so I know who it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaah, it’s so hard being a Mom! And life is so unfair, and of course we yearn to shield our babies from it all. When all we really have control over is how much we love them! ❤ (((Hugs))) to you, and to that adorable squishy boy of yours!

    Momma Hedgehog xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know that thing with feathers that perches in the soul? You sure do, judging from this post. As parents we have that tightrope-walking role whereby we want to nurture imagination and protect them from heartache, yet harden them just a little so they don’t allow life to knock them down and blow them off course. It’s a damn hard thing. Hang in there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our youngest daughter is pure spirit and sometimes, due to social etiquette, I feel the need to control her enthusiasm for life if she becomes too excitable. It’s the kind of betrayal I told myself I would never give in to but sometimes it has to be done; it doesn’t mean I don’t smile inwardly when I discover she smuggled the contraband in anyway as she has done on several occasions – little madam!

    Your son will be victorious – I guarantee – the call for adventure is far too strong to ignore.


    Liked by 1 person

    • My daughter as well, Tracey! From the very start, I’ve admired her joie de vivre and have tried my hardest not to tamp it down. Unfortunately, girls can be cruel and at 11, she’s not as carefree as she once was. Somehow you want them to become adults with all of those wonderful attributes–enthusiasm, curiosity, happiness at the little things–intact.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not looking forward to the cruel age. (I guess that should go without saying. I’ve always had this idea that I would pack my kiddo up and move to a Swiss village before he could be bullied. Now I know someone in Switzerland, so this is actually in danger of happening!

        Liked by 1 person

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