The Power of A Blanket

Earlier today, I found myself dealing with a hysterical Jessie;  crying, hiding under a blanket, running her clean sleeve across her snotty nose, red-faced hysterical.  The specifics of her conniption are not necessary for the story.  In fact, I shudder to even consider revisiting them as I already lived through it once today and that was quite enough, thank you very much.  But that was a few hours ago and now, as she rummages through the apps and videos on her iPod which no longer interest her, the tears are so far off her radar that one might think it never happened.

Well, I am here to tell you, as her mother, that while she is fully recuperated and has evidently moved on…not so me.  No, I am still reeling and reliving the trauma of watching my kid disintegrate into a heap as she managed to coat her sleeve with the endless stream of clear gunk spewing from her nose and eyes.  I am still rifling through and trying to mentally transcribe the interaction and meaning of the few words she managed to blurt out amid the sobs in the hopes (for lack of a better word) that I will have something to ruminate over while undoubtedly laying awake at three in the morning.  I wrestle with my desire to ask her, now that she is calm, to repeat some of what she said but know, intellectually, that nothing good will come of it (and that I would have to be insane to go there twice in one day).   I want to hide under a blanket and pretend it never happened in the first place while she seems to have forgotten all about it.

It is not the first (and, if I had to guess, the last) time I have seen (or will see) this movie.  The passion of her entire being was at once startling and a little bit (almost) thrilling.  It was as though I could see the attempt at words forming in her brain and watch them pour out of her mouth, albeit garbled and, at times, incoherent.  Her intensity was so powerful as to manage to shake her (and me) up a little bit.  And then it was over.  She purged and moved on…something her mother hasn’t quite mastered.  (Why move on when I can obsess?)

Jessie amazes me each day.  Whether she is flexing her artistic muscles or melting down, standing tall or crumbling in a heap, designing a dress or destroying a drawing that doesn’t meet her exacting standards,  she does it with gusto and her entire being.  As I write, she has hurled herself so intensely into cleaning up and re-populating her iPod with more tween materials now that she is no longer ten, that, if the house were on fire, I would be hard-pressed to get her attention.  Her energy output is on par with that she unleashed during the tearful explosion of just a few hours ago, this time in an all together more pleasant form.

I marvel at her spirit.  I envy her intensity.  I admit to not entirely understanding her process.  I hope she knows that I’ve got her back.  I think she does.  And I hope she got the losin’ her shit crying out of her system for a little bit.  Remember, she has a quicker recovery than I do…now you can find me hiding under a blanket.

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18 thoughts on “The Power of A Blanket

  1. It seems all Moms struggle with the same, though entirely different, problems. There is not a more helpless feeling than watching your child fall apart. And how do the children with no support system ever make it through in one piece?

  2. A month ago we were in Orlando for the weekend.My now 11 yr old daughter said to me”Daddy,I am a “tween” now”..I jumped for joy thinking about how much extra room there would be for her with her dolls gone! Hasn’t happened yet! And she,like your Jessie,can get lost in her phone or nook for hours,but that doesn’t mean that the drama of an 11 yr old can’t show suddenly…over nothing!.As a TS,I am sure glad that I have a great daughter to deal with,rather than a boy that I would struggle to be a role model for.Artists are often driven perfectionists,so the drama goes along with it.You are doing a great job with your adventure!

  3. Is there room under that blanket for our family too? 🙂 I agree it is agony watching your kids’ pain. And sometimes, even if you understand the words, there is nothing that can help – just being there being sure they know we’ve got their backs and that the are not alone. I’ve been saying a lot lately: you can’t get around it, gotta get through it. Some paths are more difficult than others, but being there for our kids (and each other) is sometimes all we can do…hugs!

  4. My mother-in-law, who gave birth to 13 children, is the biggest worrier I know. Not having enough energy or time (or blankets) to deal with the problems of all of those kids at once, she mostly has used the blanket of denial in order to focus on one tragedy at a time. The bad news, even with her youngest being 44 now, is that she still obsesses over things that happened years earlier. The good news is that she now usually forgets what she’s been worrying about before she can lose any sleep over them. So, I see hope for you, but you are just going to have to hang in there until you reach your late eighties!

    Maybe, the baby shower gift of a baby blanket should come with another full-size blanket for the mother. 😉

  5. As a veteran Mom to a girl, you will find that these outbursts will tend to arrive later and later in the day. By the teen years, the tears will begin just as you are settling in under your cozy blanket for the night and winding down from your long day. The witching hour in my house is right around 11pm. That is when all of those teary emotions literally get dumped on me like a germ bath. Jessie will feel great once she is done, but by then you will have a full blown case of whatever she had and suffer with it like a bad cold for the rest of the night. She will sleep like a baby. Ahhh, the joys of daughters….XOXO

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog and am reading it while feeling my 34 weeks along baby bounce and kick inside me. I just had a relevatory moment thinking about how, duh, the ultrasound only revealed that baby’s sex is male. Baby’s gender? Gosh, I have no idea and we will just have to find out along the journey. Thank you for sharing your family’s story. Every child deserves the love and respect that Jessie has from you unconditionally.

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