One big love

“Anxiety in children is originally nothing other than an expression of the fact they are feeling the loss of the person they love.”  Sigmund Freud

Or as Jonah said the other day, “My stomach is punching me in the guts!”

He’s had a time of it, that one.

For one thing, we had company–which is terribly exciting but emotionally demanding. The visit coincided with a return to ESY summer camp, which was followed by John leaving for a six day solo journey. There were swimming lessons cancelled and thunderstorms. A bowling party and highway trip to the farmer’s market with friends.

He’s starting to hate ESY by the way. And it shows, because all of that progress he made in handwriting last year is disappearing fast. He just doesn’t care, unless he thinks he’s writing a secret message (his OT informed me). I haven’t been enforcing handwriting practice at home either (multiple worksheets and booklets keep appearing in his back pack). It’s this delicate balance of he needs a break and he’s got to learn that there’s things we have to do, even when we don’t feel like it. Though some (including my husband at times) would take issue with that last point.

The strain he’s experiencing is palpable. When we’re in the house together but not in the same room (i.e., in plain sight), J anxiously calls out every 2 minutes or so, “Mom?! Mom!”

“I’m right here Jonah.”

He shouts, with palpable relief, “I love you mom!”

Two minutes later, hit repeat.

The constant need of my (or his father’s) presence can be draining. I sometimes get irritated. This is as much about me (a professed introvert) as it is about him.

Jonah is very sensitive to my moods. Yesterday I suggested, “I bet I drive you crazy sometimes too.” His quick reply: “No mom! You never irritate me, because I love you so much.” Though his behavior often makes it seem as though the world revolves around him (a blissful kind of oblivion over which he has very little control), that boy has one big love.


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