Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blue Eyes And Pennies


So there we were - Baby Boy and I - throwing pennies into the wishing well at the mall. He was happy to watch them disappear and I was happy that he was happy. Later in the car, buckled in, quiet, and thoughtful, he asked, "Do wishes come true?"
I put on my magic hat and told a dreamer's lie.

"Yes, if you believe, they will......"
and gave him a wink in the rear view mirror.
His face lit up, there in the backseat while we drove to get a chocolate milkshake, where our best conversations sometimes happen and where he always looks about as adorable as anything I've seen this side of eternity.

He wants to talk about wishes.
"You think my wish will come truuuue??!"
"Sure!" I chimed.After all, I am the Mimi and he is the Boy. I should know these things.

"I made a wish yesterday at school.
"

"Oh? What did you wish for?"

"I wished that somebody would want me on their team."
Inhale. Breath. Pain. My eyes filled with tears before I could think of another magical thing to say.
Damn that magic.

"But nobody picked me."


I looked in the rear view at a sad little face
. This is the part where Mimi mentally reserves a large chunk of crying time on her calendar. Baby Boy is many wonderful things, but he is not athletic. Pencil me in for later.

He can't see me cry. I just told the child to believe in pennies down a well and he now thinks wishes come true because he says so and more importantly....
because I told him they would.

"Will it come true tomorrow, Mimi?"
He is smiling. I am a mess.

Where is the Dictionary of Life when I need it?
"I don't know, Honey. I know that sometimes we have to help our dreams and wishes along by working hard and doing the best we can.
"

Can it get ANY worse that that? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong answer.
NOW I've made him feel like a failure. He'll think he wasn't chosen because he didn't work hard enough.

Freud would not be proud.
"I'm sorry, Sweetie...." I stammered. I fumbled. This time I really fumbled. "Sometimes.....uhhh.....well.......
Yes, Mimi?
Do you see the blue eyes I'm up against here? There's enough magic in those eyes to heal the whole world of blindness. Unmarred. Large. Expectant. Unyielding.
They are a well of pure unadulterated trust. And I blew it.
He doesn't want a n
ew expensive toy. He doesn't want a world of material things. He just wants to belong.
He just wants someone to pick him.



"Sometimes, Baby Boy, all wishes don't come true right away. You might have to wait for them awhile. Just because you wish one day doesn't mean it's going to happen the next. And maybe some wishes aren't meant to come true anyway.
Why don't you change your wish and see what happens?
It could be exciting!!!"


"So you mean some wishes come true and some don't?"
he asked.
"That's exactly what I mean."


Maybe the only well he needs to trust is himself.
I can't fix this hurt and I'm all out of pennies.
And I'd better scratch out that crying jag appointment.
I don't have time for that now.

I've gotta teach him to throw.














Copyright © 2006-2009 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.

43 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh mimi i understand this exactly... sigh. it'll be fine. it has to be. he is wonderful!

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Julie said...

My hearts aches in solemn memories. And the sad part about this...it takes too damn many years for it not to matter anymore.

I have no answers. That part sucks too.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bee - He had the saddest little face. I couldn't stand it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Julie - As you and I discussed earlier, memories like that can leave an imprint for many years. And unless it was a pick up game she didn't know anything about, she shouldn't have allowed it. Kids should not be playing this archaic "pick me" game.

Charles Gramlich said...

A powerful post. I could feel your sinking stomach when he asked you that question. It's so hard to be a parent, to want to make everything better for them and know that you can't.

bobbie said...

Thank God, they love us anyway.

Akelamalu said...

Why can't we just make everything perfect for them? :(

Mark said...

You did a good job! Not an easy question or situation. I am sure that your words and more importantly your listening helped more than you know.

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

A beautiful post Mimi. You brought tears to my eyes.
"He just wants to belong.
He just wants someone to pick him."

Isn't that what we all want?

"Why don't you change your wish and see what happens?"

That is the best advice I've heard in a long time....

Bond said...

A wonderful post Mimi. It is so difficult, as they get older, and some traits are not evident to lead them in a different direction. There is not much we can say...but we can teach them to throw, or show them that they are so much better at music or art or math...

HUGS

Happy Easter

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Poor you, Mimi! That's a real parent poser!

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - My stomach did sink. He's so precious.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bobbie - Unconditionally. It's wonderful.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelemalu - I wish we could. We want to!

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - Listening...that I can do. Thanks for your support. He does throw out the toughest questions!

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - Changing my own wishes has become part of this year's commitment to myself. I'm glad this post spoke to you. You've had a rough year. Sending hugs and love.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - I can teach him to throw, yes I can! And so can his dad....he has to read this post today.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jean-luc - It was. You do realize he is my grandson, right? And he always asked me the hardest questions! And teaches me sooo much.

The Gal Herself said...

What a moving post!

There are certain things we all have to go through when we're young: Losing a pet, liking someone who doesn't like us back, and not being chosen to be on the team. I have found that watching a child you love go through it is a million times worse than suffering through it yourself.

Earlier this week I wrote that Janis Ian's "At 17" still has the power to break my heart. Your post reminds me of the lyrics:
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
the world was younger than today
when dreams were all they gave for free ...

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - Those lyrics sent chills down my spine. It's been that sort of a week. I need to go listen to that song and get this out of my system.

I just wanna make it all better.

Vodka Mom said...

okay, so, whew, look at the time......

Vodka Mom said...

yeah. you made me cry.

Vodka Mom said...

and by the way- I pick HIM.


and you..........

Autumn said...

Ouch.
I used to wish on every little thing that you're supposed to be able to wish on that my children would come back home soon. They never did, so I gave up on wishes. I honestly hope your little guy never loses his faith like that.

Mimi Lenox said...

Vodka - He's a special little guy and he's honored that you picked him. So am I.

Thanks.

Mimi Lenox said...

Autumn - I'm sorry. That's tough. Sending hugs.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Anyone understands this. We were all kids, You told the story with love and caring. Well done!

Mojo said...

Hey... I don't know if it helps, but you can tell him nobody ever picked me either. I always wound up on the team that had the last choice by default.

It's not always about being picked for the team... it's about being picked for the right team.

Two names you can Google with him if the subject ever comes up again: Martin St. Louis and Chad LaRose. Neither of these guys was picked in the NHL draft. Nine rounds, 30 teams and whole squads of professional scouts passed them over.

Both of them are playing in the NHL today. St. Louis was among the league's leading scorers a couple of years ago with Tampa Bay. LaRose is a fixture with The Hurricanes and is one of the fans' favorite players. He's also having a career year this season and will almost certainly get a fat contract when his current one is up at the end of the year.

And both of these guys are owners of a Stanley Cup ring.

Not bad for a couple of kids who weren't picked to be on anybody's team, eh?

Travis said...

That's a tough one. Baby Boy has a way with the tough questions. But you did fine.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bud - A universal hurt, yes, no matter how old we are.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - Thanks for the emails and detailed background on this amazing story. I will share it with Baby Boy. He definitely needs to get to some practices and games.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - That he does! I hope I did OK.

AngelBaby said...

My son was the same way so he never did play sports, he was the brainy guy instead. He still had allot of friends and his Daddy taught him how to be an outdoors man, you know fishing and hunting that sort of thing. The guys on the sports teams were jealous of him which I thought was really cool. He had his own horse and everything just like Daddy did. He was a real cowboy, rounding up cattle and all. So sometimes things are meant to be a little different that what we want and they turn out even better.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

katherine. said...

my gramma use to say, "if wishes were fishes then beggars would ride"

I'm glad the news didn't have a story about a pencil skirted tiara wearing gramma putting kids in a dungeon...

Starrlight said...

Oh Ugh, what a hard conversation that one is. I am with Bond in that sometimes if the teaching to throw is not the answer the helping to find another talent is.

Hahn at Home said...

Dammit Mimi. You made me well up. He'll find his other gifts like my boy did and his athletic people - on cross country maybe. But, you handled it brilliantly. Showing him shades of grey, which is only going to serve him well.

Mimi Lenox said...

Angelbaby - He still has time to learn. The thing is, if he likes it, fine. If he doesn't, that's fine too. I hope his true gifts are encouraged and not just what his parents want.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - Trust me, I thought about it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Starr - He has many other talents but judging from the reaction his dad had to this story, I'd say Baby Boy should expect a few personal baseball lessons in the art of throwing, catching, and hitting real soon. My son said, "WHAT??!! They didn't PIIIICCCKK him? Are you KIIIDDDINNNGG me? No son of mine is going to be picked last on the team..on and on...!!!" (with a few expletives thrown in for good measure)

Go, Son, go.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lori - He is really quite a good little artist. And thinker. And storyteller.....I can foster that. Let dad take care of the baseball...

Mimi Lenox said...

and Lori... - Thank you.

Desert Songbird said...

My son is an "oddball out" often times. He's now taking to wearing it as a badge of honor. He likes being the "different one."

I remind him that it takes all kinds.

It's tough to tell a child the harsh realities; I think you did well, Mimi.

Mimi Lenox said...

Songbird - I just saw this comment. It DOES take all kinds in this big beautiful world.

He starts kindergarten tomorrow!!

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