Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Great Bookmark Save

Ever since my mom died, I've had an almost unnatural connection to the very few items I have left from my childhood. There is my tiny Poochie box, my Annie and Daddy Warbucks necklace, and my unicorn bookmarks. Somehow these items are more precious to me than fine jewels would be... if I had fine jewels, ya know? It's like they are my connection to my childhood self. I have a lot of emotions caught up in these seemingly worthless things and there is no convincing me that memories are what really count... I love my little things. But I use them. Ronin has my Poochie box somewhere (I know it's somewhere in the house so I'm cool with that) and I've been known to wear my Annie necklace in my 30s. And I mark one of the 15 books (that's right, 15, what of it?) that I'm reading with one of my unicorn bookmarks... It says, "Dreams Soar on the Wings of Imagination". And no, I didn't have to look that up. I just know it.

So, like some insane optimistic person, the other day I got out a stack of my books and had crazy high hopes of getting to read some on the sofa while I rested up for VBS week. Needless to say, there was no reading done. I don't know why I set myself up for these disappointments. I won't get to sit and read during waking hours for probably another 2 years. But darn it, I keep trying. Well, my stack of books was sitting out and as I was sitting on the sofa, grumpy because I'd had to get up every few minutes to make sure Baby Destroys a Lot wasn't drawing on the wall or eating the butter or whatever. I look over and much to my dismay, the child had pulled my unicorn bookmark out of my book. And he had one had on the tassel and one had on the cardboard and I was certain that he was going to pull. He was going to rip that tassel off of my bookmark. I panicked. I yelled in a screeching voice, "Give that back to me!" He started to look scared and he backed away, still gripping the tassel with one hand the cardboard with the other. I stopped. I breathed. I knew that I had the power to make this situation traumatizing for us both or easily solvable. I remembered that he loves to be a big helper. I immediately changed my tone of voice. I said, happily, "Would you help mommy put the bookmark back in the book?" I opened the book and I leaned over towards him. I pointed to the crease in between the pages and I said, "Put it there, please." And he did. Just like that. He was even smiling a little.

I nearly collapse from relief. I couldn't believe it had worked. I had saved the bookmark. But more importantly, I had taken the time to refocus and deal with my son in a manner that was positive and not damaging to our relationship. It was a turning point for me.

I can't say that I've been perfect since this incident but I must admit that things are going more smoothly around here since this revelation. I am thankful that it happened. I see less frustration for both of our futures. :)

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