To The Girl Who’s Going to Break My Son’s Heart303
October 1, 2013 by Katia
I wish you could see him as a four-year-old boy on the playground last week. Maybe you would change your mind. He was playing with a couple of new school friends, a boy and girl. They’ve discovered a broken tree covered in colourful ribbons. It was lying on the ground across from the sandbox right by the school fence. They were fully engaged in the game, tying and untying the ribbons, treating what they were doing with the seriousness children reserve only for games.
Then I notice the tilt of the head and the furrowed brow. Chin and voice are raised an octave as he says “umm…” I am the number one world leading expert on his body language and I know exactly what this means. It’s a classical “I’m going to ask for something and I’ll be as polite as possible, because it’s very important that everyone loves me, but also it’s super important that they say yes, because I know how to make this game AWESOME”. Anyone observant enough can see that ever so slight tilt of the head, but I am the only one who knows what’s coming. He’s positioning himself in an asking position – “can…” he starts then stops in his tracks reconsidering, carefully selecting his words opting for the even more polite “could”. Could you help me decorate this tree? He asks the little girl. When the little guy offers his help, Four Year Old is adamant, it has to be the girl. He presents the boy with another task instead. The girl’s mother and I exchange an understanding laugh, he knows he needs a woman’s touch for this, we agree. The girl’s mother commends him for his manners. There. Mission accomplished. He’s been polishing up his social skills, constantly perfecting already polite sentences by replacing “could you” and “would you” with a non-necessary “may you”. And he is happy right now on this playground. I think I can almost see his chest rise in pride. He is polite. Everybody can see how polite he is and they love him for it.
“But he didn’t say please!”
The little girl’s tone sounds unforgiving and it makes my heart skip a beat. I try not to let anyone in, least of all him, on the internal turmoil that’s taken over me. I look at his face and see the movements of his heart and brain. I can see his struggle to not show. Is he asking himself if he was not polite enough despite trying so hard, is he formulating a life rule, his own equivalent of “nice guys finish last”? Then I discover what “rising above” sounds like in the mouth of a four-year-old boy. He fills his lungs with air and lets it out with a low, accepting defeat “pliz”. Chin lowered. Our eyes lock.
I smile at him reassuringly but I think of you, the girl that’s going to do this to him in a few years time. Would it be like that? A sudden blow when he’s so engaged and oblivious? Or would you just leave him hanging like the other little girl on the playground, the one he was trying so hard to get to laugh while she wouldn’t so much as glance at him? I am always there circling around in my little emotional first aid ambulance as back up, ready to jump in with a joke to diffuse any situation, relinquish the awkward silences after his unanswered questions, my pager is always on so I don’t miss anything, but the Mombulance only works when you’re four. He’ll come to expect this support of you and you will give it. For a while.
I am not sure what I’m asking of you. Maybe I just want you to know how endlessly kind and sensitive he is. Always was. Please let him down easy.
POST FRESHLY PRESSED CLARIFICATION:
Writing this very personal post I never thought it could hurt anyone’s feelings. The little girl in the post is a friendly, trusting, wonderful, sweet little creature who plays with my son and I every time she runs into us after school. I would never write anything derogatory about her or ANY child.
The post was not intended to be perceived as: the author vs. little girl, girls in general or children that are not my son. I was surprised that some (very few readers, but still) perceived it that way. The post was meant to capture a moment where I saw my own son as fragile and vulnerable and the thoughts and emotions that evoked in me.
This is a great blog, I feel the same way about my brothers, even though they are grown, as their older sister I’m hoping they will be treated with the same love and respect by their girlfriends that everyone in our family gives them. 🙂
I was an only child and it’s so heartwarming to read this comment from a loving sister’s perspective. This is lovely.
So beautiful….and so sad. I do wish every girl could see this…relationships don’t always have to last, but you really should at least consider the other person’s heart. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful moment.
Thank you so much for your very kind words 🙂
Your son will love reading this some day!
I hope so, once he gets over the “my mom is the most embarrassing person in the world” stage 🙂
He is going to find the most perfect girl for him one day! Thank you for sharing your super cute story 🙂
Thank you so much, Naomi. I think he will too.
As the mother of one son (and 2 drama-queen daughters who are much older than he), I hear you! Shocking that anyone who read your thoughtful and lovingly protective (in a way only another son’s mother can understand) would come away with any negative thoughts. I believe in your post (maybe because of my own past experiences with my daughters) that I heard a silent plea: “Why can’t I protect him forever?”
God bless and please do keep writing – I love the way you express your heart. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!
Thank you so much for this uber kind message. I really am not used to any anger on my blog, so this was as you say quite shocking, but I think I understand where they are coming from – misunderstanding me and wanting to protect the girl, which I think they perceived as though I was attacking – but I do not agree with the tone. Your words mean a lot and once again my deepest gratitude to you 🙂
Due to another comment thread on a different post, it occurs to me that those who responded angrily are likely projecting their own bad experiences onto you in some way. Because we all read/hear/perceive through the “grid” of our own experiences (and even genetic makeup), everyone reacts differently to what they see/hear/perceive. A few years back my husband said something pretty simple, but profound: “You know, people really are different!” I laughingly said, “It’s taken you THIS long to realize that?!” But truly, sometimes we assume that people understand what we are saying when the reality is that person A and person B can read the exact same words yet have completely opposite reactions. Bottom line: Find that place of peace in your own skin. That’s really all we can do. Blessings to you and I look forward to reading much more!!
So thoughtful of you to share that message with me. And I completely agree. I’ve written about it before in a post that I think I’ve titled Atonement. It was about how we all operate based on different codes (genetic, behavioural, cultural) and I realized a while ago that it’s quite the miracle that we somehow seem to still get along mostly, despite having so many gaps to bridge. I am really touched by this message, thanks so much again (I’m coming down with something so I’m sorry if none of this ramble that I wrote here makes sense)
Katia, you are making perfect sense (I hope I don’t catch what you have, none-the-less ;)). Hey, if it’s a cold, try hydrogen peroxide in each ear ten minutes and then brew yourself some of my healing tea:
A large cup of any kind of tea (hot)
2 Tbsp. whiskey
1 Tbsp. raw honey
Squeezed wedge of one lemon or (even better) 2-3 drops pure lemon oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
As much cayenne pepper as you can stand to drink (capsicum is a natural anti-biotic)
Breathe in the aromas and drink. Even if it doesn’t heal your cold, if you make enough of them, eventually you won’t care about being sick. 😉
You know what, that actually sounds delicious. Do I have to have a cold for this 😉
Thank you, you are a lovely human being. I will try this and report back!
Katia, most people who know me in person would not begin to describe me that way. Rough edges and all that. It’s easier to ‘sound’ sweet online. 😉 Meanwhile, one never need have a cold to indulge in a sip of Whiskey. At least, that’s what I tell myself when the day has been unbearable. 🙂
Reblogged this on lelapinblancetunepomme.
I actually liked this. Sensitive, personal and your love of your son comes through clearly.
When they grow older (I have a ‘grown up’ son – I can still see the fragile, lost four year old in him too…) the attacks get harder and the pain a bit more obscured. I still want to huddle round him and offer protection, slam the person who dared hurt him and boost his flagging self-esteem. He’s not soft. He’s not pathetic. He’s loved.
Thank you for your emotional honesty.
Thank you for your beautiful comment!
She dare not!!! Haha… His emotions are attached to yours.
HAHA! I know! Thank you! 🙂
This is beautifully written. As a counsellor who works with women who’ve experienced rape and other forms of abuse, and a mother of two daughters, it’s easy to lose sight of the vulnerability and sweetness of little boys. Thank you for reminding me.
This is one of the most wonderful and gratifying comments I’ve received, not only on this post but ever in history. This is huge for me, thank you so much for letting me know.
Thanks Katia! Feels amazing to read this. You might like some of my writing at laughingfeminist.wordpress.com. Hope you have a great weekend!
Thank you for sharing. It was lovely and touching- I believe all mothers are that protective towards their sons/daughters and will continue to be that way even if their kids are grown up (I am 20-something, my mom is still like that, and I adore her). 🙂 I will be re-blogging this on my site, if you don’t mind. Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed’. 🙂
You are lovely and I just visited your blog and saw the touching introduction to your reblog. Thank you so much.
I’m sure all parents feel that way ALWAYS, regardless of age. I try to remind myself of that when I roll my eyes at my mom for insisting I wear a hat, or a jacket because she’s cold…
Of course I don’t mind, I’m grateful for the share and I’ve had quite a few visits from your website today, so thank you so much! 🙂
I loved this… I have a six month old and I think about this all of the time! It’s written beautifully, girl to boy, boy to girl the point you make is spot on!
Thank you so much! I’m glad you felt that the post transcends genders, that’s what I was hoping for writing it.
We two are co-writers of a blog who met because we each have four kids, including three sons who are the same ages. We have seen how this plays out. It isn’t pretty. Best of luck to you and your sweet boy.
That’s awesome about you each having the replica of the other one’s family 🙂 I look forward to visiting your blog! Thank you so much for the kind comment!
Ref. ” I hurt people just because I couldn’t be their girlfriend”
There’s surely more but at least two men in the universe think this way: One man to another- If I was a beauty of a lady, I’d be a real b***h! I could hardly imagine the awful of 20 men a day wanting something more than I can possibly give them.
Can’t imagine that either, thankfully it was never that bad (or good), depends how you look at it 🙂
[…] Thank you for people who don’t know you and comment on your post with words such as: “This is beautifully written. As a counsellor who works with women […]
This is lovely. I have a son and he’s about to turn 18 and this worry, grows into a bit of a terror as they age and this likeliness creeps up closer and closer. I also have a lovely 20 year old daughter. I often wish I could sit on their shoulder all day and help them through situations but of course, not to be. What a beautifully written expression of this feeling. Well done! Ignore any wanker that doesn’t get it.
Thank you so much, Julie! I can only imagine how the worry we feel for them smoothly transitions into terror… Heck, I do that now sometimes! I love the image of sitting on their shoulder, YES, PLEASE! And thank you so much for your kind comment.I must say I secretly enjoy the wanker reference. 😉
Beautiful post, I truly enjoyed reading it
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!
I absolutely love this! So so sweet and beautifully written, sounds like ur an amazing mom!x
Thank you so much, some days I’m good, some days not so much. Today – not so much, so encouraged to read this 🙂
This post reminds me of Pink Floyd’s ‘Mother’. I loved how beautifully you captured a fleeting playground moment. Pictures are great but here’s what words can do !
What a wonderful comment, thank you so much!!!
Awww.. this is so moving from a mum. Now, I understand my fiance’s mum better<3
Awesome, that makes me feel great, thank you so much!
wow, what a sweet story. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Thank you, that’s very kind of you! 🙂
This is beautiful. The Tragedy of seeing someone you love hurt. Knowing that all boys and men were little boys too and a mother will always see what us men/fathers can not.
So well put, a tragedy indeed. Thank you so much for such a kind comment 🙂
You are very welcome.
This piece was so touching.
Thank you so much!
Beautifully written!!!! 🙂 kudos!!!! Loved it so much!
Thank you so much!!! 😀
I was laughing and thinking, “HA! My boy’s 17 and we’ve NEVER had a problem with girls!” 10 seconds later I’m worrying that he’s never had a problem with girls. He’s got a 58-year-old uncle who’s never been on a date and lives with his parents so…Not that I want to be like my neighbor who just found out he’s going to be a grandpa but…
😀 That’s funny. Your boy is probably just a late bloomer 🙂
The perfect girl will come along, and snatch his heart from within his chest, not to stomp on it, but to keep it safely locked in with hers. You don’t have to worry. There will be heart aches but like I read somewhere, the good always overpowers the bad. 🙂
That is such a perfect comment! Thank you so much for your kind words and the kind sentiment behind them!
Anyday… I’m a new blogger here… and I’m just doing what I’m good at… socializing and giving advice. 😛
What a beautiful read! As the mother of 2 boys reading this got me seriously emotional… Gorgeous piece of writing!
Oh wow, thank you so much, I truly appreciate this. It was something that I wrote straight from the heart and it means a lot when it resonates with other moms 🙂
Ild love for u to also follow my blog! I’m just getting started but I plan to blog about raising boys and boys fashion too!
This post was so moving. The warmth this post has demonstrates the love you have for your children. I may be just 17 years old but even I can tell that you’re a great mother. I’ll definitely be following you from now on.
I’m at my proudest when followed by people your age. Thanks so much! 🙂
Being a mother of two little boys, I found myself very emotional while reading this. Someone is going to totally crush my son one day. I, too, hope that little girl is gentle.
Thank you so much, Rhonda!
A beautiful story…we all get our hearts broken at one time or another and it’s the people in our lives who love us, especially our mothers, that help us heal. Go, mom!
Thank you, my friend! I am here to serve! (and whine about it later). 😛
Your son actually reminded me of my older daughter at that age (and younger.) She also seemed so fragile, and was so easily discouraged when playing with her peers of either sex, if she thought she’d not got it “right.” I sometimes worried she’d struggle with friendships let alone romances! She’s almost 16 now, and hasn’t started dating yet, but I think she’ll be okay, and that she’s far more resilient than I imagined then. Yet, I can definitely relate to the feelings you express here, the desire to protect. (Not sure that ever goes!)
Thank you so much, Yvonne! It’s so reassuring to hear that those who seem so fragile will eventually grow out of it. And yes, exactly, he is so preoccupied with getting it “right” and the repercussions of not that it kills me.
Fantastic. Congratulations on getting freshly pressed as well. That is awesome!
Thank you, Julie! 🙂
[…] be. She writes about Motherhood and life with humor, heart and with an inquisitive soul. Just read To The Girl Who’s Going To Break My Son’s Heart, and you’ll get her. This post was freshly pressed and was the first one I every read by […]
hhhh… wham… my first experiences as a blog-follower… THANK YOU – for these easycoming heartbreaking heartwarming tears… mombulance 😉 – lookin forward to reading more… p.s.: i have a daughter, but i can so awfully understand…
❤ ❤ ❤ I think the feeling behind the words probably unites moms of all genders.
How could anyone (someone?) find this post offensive? Are you sick in your head guys? Seriously. This post was so warm and nice. I read many posts and this one was so kind. This mom is so civilised and mature and a real lady. I found other women that were like “I would kill that bi*ch” :I would rip her heart out” “I would scone her eyes out” and etc. And I thought that they deserve a special place in an asylum and a dose of haloperidol. Those women are dangerous. They should be isolated from society. And this woman was so nice and polite. I adored how she expressed it.
Thanks for your support. That’s very kind of you 🙂
Thank You for sharing.
I’m so sorry, I saw this comment a while ago on my phone and thought I responded, but turns out I never did! Thank you so much for your kindness. It warms my heart! ❤