At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Who Said Parenting Was Easy, Either?

I am just getting slammed no matter which way I turn, I tell ya. Sheesh. Can't a woman watch a news clip without getting into a discussion of death by car accident with the almost-six-year-old? Damn those headline writers for catching my eye in the first place with their highlights from the VP debate, anyway. I cancelled TV last week and so only listened to the debate on NPR. I was curious to see how the performers looked onscreen. Is that such a crime?? And why, oh why, do I have to have such a sensitive and astute observer for a child? (Those who know me, stop laughing and SHUT UP.) Beautiful little darling, that child of mine. So you might have guessed by now that Galen picked up on the story of Biden's immense loss of wife and baby 36 years ago. Sitting on the bed holding his eyes as wide as he can to keep the tears from spilling, what can I say to make him feel better? I can't make it go away, I can't make the world devoid of tragedy, and he knows I can't. We are up against something intractable and infinitely sad. He cannot sleep now. We talk for an hour about how much safer cars are now, and how people used to not wear seat belts all the time and didn't have to use car seats, even though I know nothing of the details of Biden's wife's accident and even though I know people still die daily in accidents with seat belts fastened and air bags deployed. I will not mention this. I describe all the wrecks I've been in (I think seven at last count) and how in some the car was severely damaged but I was always okay. It's not enough, but it's all I've got. I can't explain statistics (he's too young) and unfortunately or not I can't quite lie, so I feel pretty awkward and dreadful. He is worried, and I begin to think that every lousy borderline syndrome I have is genetic-- and dominant. He seems to have inherited every mental, emotional, or psychological issue I have. He can't stop talking. We take breaks, switching to silly email pictures and Disney ads of all things, but we keep going back to facing the risk of death. He tells me he has to worry because he loves me and he loves the whole family. I need to cry too. I resort in the end to my own mother's tried-and-true: a promise of shopping tomorrow. It seems to distract him, but then Daddy comes in to go to bed and I am asked to tell it all to Daddy and so it starts over. Finally we simply insist he stop talking so he can go to sleep before it's already tomorrow. Now I sit here wondering if I did a good enough job: should I have reassured him more, should I have said something else? Am I failing him in his spiritual upbringing? Does he need more structure, more ritual, more (some) Sunday school, more faith? Is he going to be ok?? I have no way of knowing. All I can do is cross my fingers, hold my breath, and wait to see how melancholy he turns out to be. Nooooo, that's not nerve-wracking at all...