Tag Archiv: scary

Healing and how the short people do it

photo compliments of morguefile.com

photo compliments of morguefile.com

In the spring, I had a miscarriage that went beyond sad, straight past to scary. My then nine year old was home sick from school. Sick, but quite recovered enough to be enjoying his first Indiana Jones movie while I was passing out on the bathroom floor. Everything was trending with a distinct downward trajectory, so I eventually made him stop the movie and call his father, who could not be reached. Against boy’s strong wishes, but saving him from finding me unconscious and unable to be revived later, I made him call 911. (I would have gotten the phone myself, but the inability to stand and remain conscious was challenging me at the time.)

Son relayed when a police car arrived in the driveway. I had to argue him into answering the door. The ambulance came followed at last by my husband. I worried about my son, but there wasn’t anything to say other than please not to worry, and the ambulance people would make everything better.

In the days that followed, we said thank you. We told him we were proud of him. In the quiet spaces, I tried to check in.

“How are you doing about when you were home with me that day?”

“Fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.  I just didn’t want to talk to the 911 people.”

“So really, you’re ok?”

“Yeah. I really liked that movie.”

 

A check in a week or so later yielded similar results. I decided not to push the point. If he wasn’t traumatized because he didn’t understand how serious things has been, I didn’t see anything good about changing that. And if he was upset, he wasn’t ready to talk yet.

Last week, a little more than six months since that day, we were sorting through his clothes.

 

“What’s with these shorts?” I ask. “You never wear them.”

“Give them to charity. I hate them.”

“They don’t fit or you don’t like them? What’s wrong with them?”

“I hate them. They fit but I’ll never wear them. You were wearing shorts just like that the day the ambulance came.”

“You don’t wear these shorts because I was wearing shorts like this the day I went to the hospital?”

“Yeah. I’m never wearing those shorts. ”

“So you were scared that day?”

“I was so scared. I didn’t even know what would happen. And then they took you in the ambulance. It was a really bad day.”

“I’m sorry all that happened.”

“It’s ok.”

“Are you ok now?”

“Yeah, but I hate those shorts. Give them to charity.”

“They sound like pretty lousy shorts. Maybe we should burn them.”

Boy slowly grins. The thought of the shorts on fire is in his eyes.

“Maybe, I’ll burn mine too,” I say. “I don’t really like the shorts I wore that day either.”

“Yeah, we can burn them both.” Boy laughs, then looks me in the eye. “We can just give them away. It’s ok, Mom.”

My heart lets go a little more, because finally, I believe him.

The Misty saga

We don’t get things for the farm that we can’t eat. Pigs not fun anymore? The freezer awaits. We aren’t in France, so horses have been out. Until this year. Somehow a burning desire to give kids a great birthday equalled Misty. You really haven’t lived until you have picked up kids from school, driven them home and sent them to the barn to meet the horse they thought they were never getting.

Besides in-edibility, I didn’t want a horse because they’re scary. My research said that our kids would be able care for the horse themselves, so I put this aside. Even more compelling is the common knowledge that pioneer children raised ponies unaided from the age of 6 or 7, but I didn’t depend on history. I did research.

Here’s what the research did  and did not mention . . .

1. Thirteen year olds can take care of horses . . . if they have grown up with horses, understand them, and are comfortable taking authority when the horse disagrees.

2. Ten year olds can do a lot . . . if they don’t develop sudden onset terror of horses and refuse to leave the house on threat of torture or a trip to Goodwill to donate all their Lego.

3. You’d be surprised what an eight year old can do. . . you’d be surprised too, how contagious that sudden onset stuff is.

4. Five year olds can’t do much. I agree.

We had a choice. Give up on the best birthday present ever or get re-enforcements. This is how it stopped working that I only saw the horse from the kitchen sink.

Learning and working with thirteen year old is showing me a new side of him. We’ve never done anything like this together. We listen to advice from horse people, then try to apply it with Misty. He needs me, but he can do things I can’t. There’s nothing to argue about because we’re on the same team. More than anyone else, it is he and I that are spending the hours. Seven or eight extra hours in a week is a sacrifice for me, but it is for him too, and he isn’t complaining, so neither am I.

Eight year old was back on board the second I got involved. And she can do more than you’d think. Ten year old was delivered grumbling to mandatory horse lesson this weekend. Yesterday he helped with Misty for twenty minutes. This equals previous compliance times ten.

The hardest part, I tell my husband, is leading team horse, when I’m still afraid of horses.

You’re afraid of Misty? That’s so funny. She doesn’t bother me at all.

Says the man who only has to look at her in the field from fifty feet away because we need his time to do other things.

Originally, that was supposed to be my job.

Getting home

Last fall I got lost in the woods and swamps near where we live. With light fading, and the realization that my children would soon arrive home to an empty house, I left the bike I had been stubbornly carrying through the swamps beside a tree. I knew I would never see it again. I needed to get home and not much else mattered.

I do not have an innate sense of direction and rarely know which way is north. I could see the sun setting in the west, but as I had no idea where I was, it didn’t tell me which way to go. All I could be sure about was that by going in one direction (as opposed to circles) I would eventually hit a road. Once on a road, I would know finally know the way home.

Recently, I found myself rather irritated by another human being and in a position where my opinion about this human was being sought. (Due to my lack of patience and an unfortunate deficit of inborn humility, I am ashamed to say that this feeling of personal disdain for other people is something that have a good deal of experience with.) Human mentioned above had not been terribly thoughtful or pleasant in their interactions with me. Better words to describe their approach to me would be along the lines of dismissive, condescending, and largely oblivious to me as a fellow traveller on the highway of life.

I was justified, and therefore longed to spell out in clipped. King’s. Best. English. my. insights. about. the. nasty. human. Unfortunately, I had to admit to myself that the human seemed hurting, and that the hurt might be driving the harshness of the public persona. This has been me also, in other places. I grudgingly wondered if a small amount of mercy were in order. Secondly, and a far from noble reality, I worried that if the person asking my opinion didn’t share my views, that my negative reactions might be reflected back at me, rather than the human who really DESERVED them. I went with soft truthful but gentle. No accusations attached.

I got a note back thanking me and saying that my response had been charitable. It caught me off guard. Even if I got there for not all the right reasons, was it true? I felt like I was sitting with that word charitable floating in the air in front of me. I couldn’t stop looking. I still can’t.

I have begun to wonder what it would be like if I were to become someone who was charitable. If being well defended from the enemies of people who misunderstand me, is actually a missed opportunity to be the kind of person I would very much like to be.

Charitable isn’t the road I thought I was looking for. But there’s a clear path through the trees. No bells. No whistles. No gold stars on a chart. Just a way home, if  I’ll take it.

County Road 21. Take one

I don’t know what a first post should say so I won’t try to say it.  I went out to the barn today to measure from the withers on Shorty the miniature horse. While there I became overcome with grief at the plight of the horses. Best friends. Separated five days ago because of the screaming in the night and bold attempts to take the friendship to another level. Many attempts have been made to sell ill-begotten male horse. He is currently available for free to a good home, although I foresee the day when we will be paying someone to take him. A monthly installment plan or something.

Out at the barn everyone seemed jumpy. Feeling stupid that I am not a horse person, Shorty and I agreed on approximate measurements, whereby I looked at his withers and measured the gate near him at about where it seemed right.  I had asked my husband about letting Shorty out again – how long can a mare be in heat anyway?  He said, forget it, we just need to get that horse off the property.

It all seemed so sad and wistful and I don’t know, I just know that after I measured the gate  horse (info for the latest person helping us divest ourselves of said creature), guilt took over. Just for a little bit, said I. The husband cannot help that he has no heart.  That his eyes cannot see the poor bedraggled animals. Confused. Wanting normal. Not knowing what to do. Innocent boy horse in barn while girl horse grazes depressed or doesn’t even bother, just stands there.

The rest is a blur . . . I let Shorty out – it being the right thing and all. They said hello rather quickly. Mare Misty turned and it became rather evident even to this equine neophyte that she was in heat in a seriously streaming kind of way. Shorty was rather quick on the draw, proving to the naked eye that in fact his diminished stature is rather no trouble at all to overcome with full size pony.

But this was not going to happen. Not on my watch.

I yelled bloody murder and waved my arms. They took off across the pasture for a little more privacy. Not to be outdone I ran, still yelling so as to ruin the mood, to get a bucket of grain. Thought on the way by to grab a broom. Couldn’t shake the warning from the vet that when she is in heat, he won’t take competition. He’ll come after you and mean to hurt you. So there I am, tearing after them in the field, bucket of grain in one hand, broom in the other. They slow down and I call their names, trying to change the tone. Communicate that we are one happy little family again and here I am out with a little treat. Not sure what even made me think to bring one out. Providence maybe.

Shorty noticed. His slow first steps turned into a dead run, so I dumped some grain on the ground and ran to the other side of the round bale. I wasn’t sure if he’d go for the grain or if we’d still be circling the round bale waiting for him to kill me when the kids got home.

He went for the grain.  I snuck back to the barn and managed to get the mare to follow me. Kept my broom though. Finally got everybody back to where they were.  Came in the house shaking. Took a while to get my heart to stop pounding out of my chest.  Still cannot find a chart that lists how many calories I burned this way.

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