Archives for October 2013

Mulan

You two watched Disney’s Mulan today. The differences in what you noticed was simply astounding. Anna, you asked lots of questions like “Why did Mulan do that? Why did the big man leave Mulan in the snow? What happened to the bad guys? What’s going to happen? Why did Mulan pretend to be a boy? How come only the boys get to fight?”

Lucas, you liked the part at the end with the fireworks were everything blew up, and you kept bouncing on the couch going BOOM.

My Little Nerdling

OK, so when I was little, I was a big-time nerd. It meant that I was smart, socially awkward, and had yet to develop a passion for anything in particular that would move me into the domain of Geek-hood. Well, Lucas, it was with a number of competing emotions that I learned today that you may be a little nerdling.

You see, your teacher told me that you routinely take only 10 minutes to do the work that your classmates sometimes take an hour to complete. That part made me proud. I’ve seen your dedication when you work through puzzles, and it hardly surprises me. On the other hand, it seems that your social skills are, well, you have the social skills of a 4-year old. Yes, yes, I know you ARE only 4 years old. But I recall so vividly my own social awkwardness, not understanding so many interpersonal interactions, and to be honest, getting the crap beaten out of me on a regular basis, that I worry for you, my dear boy.

I worry for you because while you may be fast and spry, you are also on the lower end of the scale for physical size. I worry that together, you are walking face first into a full-blown career as a nerd, replete with wedgies, swirlies, people stealing your lunch, and many other social mishaps that were oh-so-informative of my own life. My heart so wants to spare you from those pains, even though I recognize the degree to which those early beginnings led me to where I am today.

I do hope that growing up with a twin sister who is already 3″ taller than you may help you develop some degree of a social buffer as you grow up. Already, your heart is huge, and you so often care for Anna as well as sharing with your peers. Yet you also get impatient easily, do not understand “no” very well, and can be prone to a temperamental outburst now and then.

Yes, yes, it’s all “normal,” I know that. But unfortunately, there is so much pain, embarrassment, discomfort, social hazing, and far worse that is also “normal,” that I desperately wish that I could put a shield of love around you to minimize the scars of childhood that I still recall even to this day. Ultimately, I realize, you will go through whatever you go through, and it will shape and form who you will become. So my hope, my dear boy, is that you never forget that I will always love you, no matter what, I promise.

A Little Prick

It’s never easy watching one’s children in pain or fear. Today, you both had your annual doctor visit, which unfortunately included three pricks this time – one for blood-draw, and two vaccines.

Lucas, you went first, and basically freaked out at the site of your blood on your finger. You’ve spoken in the past in a way that indicates you think that somehow ALL of your blood is going to leak out. Never mind that you’ve got no idea what it really does – an aversion to the sight of blood is apparently biological. But despite some minor whimpers at the finger prick, the vaccines sent you over the top. I had the unfortunate task of holding you in my lap, knowing that the assistant was going to inflict pain upon my child. And while I know the physical part to be minor, it’s the psychological part that’s hardest to deal with.

You got a lollipop afterwards, which helped in some slight degree, but you were still clearly unhappy with what just occurred.

But you, Anna, you had the misfortune of watching the whole thing and started getting worked up even before I put you on my lap. The most touching and difficult part, however, was watching Lucas when it was time to prick you. He was still visibly upset from his ordeal, but when the assistant started on your finger, Lucas started crying out “No!!! Don’t hurt Anna!” His own trauma almost evaporated and he became completely fixated on not wanting you to go through the same thing. “Stop! Don’t hurt Anna!” he kept saying, tears just welling up in his soft little eyes as he looked back and forth between me, the assistant, and his dear sister.

It was all I could do to keep from crying too, seeing how upset you were, Lucas. My only solace was that after the event, you both climbed back into my arms in tears, clinging to me for comfort, reassurance, and love.