Friday, September 4, 2009

A Day To Dig

I find one of the best ways to really get to know my 11 year old is to deep clean his room. After securing my haz-mat suit and arming myself with a shovel I enter his domain. I have put this off for awhile out of sheer terror. As he gets older he has taken to hoarding a bit . His passion, office supplies. He is the only person on this planet who feels one can never have enough paperclips, stickie notes and blank books. I also have a sense he has been eating in his room. I have not seen any evidence which means I will surely encounter 5 week old pizza lodged under his desk. Taking one last deep breath I enter this boy cave.
I stumble across bits and pieces of his life that for some reason we haven't shared and have remained under layers of daily life. We talk often so I know him really well but life moves so fast I forget the little bits.
First year Japanese language book with pages of handwritten notes
Books on trees, magic, science and jokes
Several notebooks with the first page full labeled Chapter 1
Files of his drawings

Then I stumble upon a stuffed duck. His fake fur has a well loved pallor and the stitching along his head is giving way. I am filled with a sense of reverence. This duck made his way to our home via someone else's sense of compassion. When my son was 6 he attended a Christmas function hosted by a charitable group wanting to spread some joy to the children at the deaf school. Part of the party was allowing each child to pick a stuffed toy. My son stood in line and when his turn came the volunteers showed his a variety of new fancy bears, cats and other animal creatures. My son pondered his options then spotted the well loved duck pushed off to the side.
"The duck please"
"The duck? Don't you what this?" the volunteer giving a Vanna White gesture to a rather large stuffed bear.
"No,the duck please"

When he returned home he was so happy with his new friend. I asked him why he chose the duck.
"Mom, I felt sorry for him. He needs a friend. "

I stood there with this tattered creature and felt a sense of relief. We can coach our kids to say please and thank you. We can tell them to be nice and think of others but the true lesson we are wanting them to get is empathy. I often get frustrated when he picks on his sister or doesn't bother to thank me for dinner. This duck reminded me that he often does thank me for dinner. He will read to his sister when I am working late on an order. He opens the door for his grandma and at school stands up for the kid getting bullied.

When I was finished I brought him into his new zen den. He thanked me, squealed then set about putting back all of his stickie notes, blank books and paper clips.


BirchLeaf Designs said...

Yes! I think it's time to deep clean our house...thanks for the giggle.

Treehugginmom26 said...

I completely agree...its those moments when we see the awesome people inside those loud and crazy beings we try to raise that makes it all worth while.

Awesome post...thanks for sharing

Polar Bear Creations said...

Great post.
I love those moments too,when I get the feeling that we must have done something right raising our boys.
Have a great day!

FairiesNest said...

Boys have such wells of sweetness. And these sweet boys grow up to be loving, awesome men.

woolies said...

Cleaning my boys rooms is somewhat terrifying. You never know what you will find. I commend you - you are a very brave mamma.

Love the duck story.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Enjoyed reading this post. Such thoughtfulness in choosing the inspiring!

Lala's Pequenos said...

OMG- what are we going to do when they move out??

SleightGirl said...

Wow, you're so mom always made me wear the Haz-Mat suit and do it myself....although most of the stuff just ended up under my bed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful sentiments about your son, such sweetness in your writing of the reasoning behind choosing his ducky friend : )Mel, I was thrilled to find that you have a blog! I bought a gnome estate and 'children of the forest'set in my families likeness from you last Christmas. These toys you made for my children are deeply treasured in our home! Your loving spirit shines through : ) Warmly, Nicole

Anonymous said...

ha! actually now that I am thinking of it I have a photo of my kids playing with your toys on my blog : )

germandolls said...

Great post, Haddy! I can totally relate to it. By son turned 11 today! Funny I made him clean his room this morning...
I don't find pizza when vaccuming but lots of shirts behind the bed.

haddy2dogs said...

Nicole! Thank you for the kind words about my work. It always brings me joy to know my treasures are loved!