Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Sounds of Parenthood

 There are many sounds that come with parenthood. Some are wonderful. Some make us angry or scared. Some make us laugh. There are a few that make us cry, and a few make us feel as if our world is being torn in two.

I may write something on this topic under the Special Manners at some point because it is something that a lot of folks just don't get, but for now I just want to share with you one of those moments in my life that is raw for me. Hope you don't mind too much....

Often I see moments of my life in my mind tied to a smell, a touch, a person or a sound. The memory of the rough touch of an attacker is triggered by a touch on my hip even done with love or support. There is a teddy bear that I keep to remind me to be grateful of what I have, because I have gone without. A song can take me miles back into the past to sitting on the beach in California watching the sun sink into the ocean. Do you know how that is, to have a thought or feeling triggered by something?

As a parent, I have heard many noises. The first memorable noise is that soft mew of a content newborn son over 19 years back. I still smile when I hear it from other babies. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling. There are so many good sounds connected with being a parent. There is the sound of the first word and the "I Love You" that I waited over 4 years to hear. 

There are the sounds that makes a parent laugh out loud... for years to follow. The lines from a school play slightly messed up so the president comes out to be telling a lie still makes for a good story. Stories told by a six year old replay in a mother's head in every cute detail. An over heard battle between Barbie and Ken can come to mind as Dad watches his teenager argue with her newest crush.

Some sounds just make us mad. The key in the lock three hours past curfew, the tip toes on the stairs of a child told to go to bed, and the whine of a kid telling lies. There are sounds we pray we never hear. The knock on the door from a man in uniform coming to tell us how a roadside bomb took our child's life tops that list. Right behind that is the ringing of the phone with a police officer on the other end.

There are some sounds that bring us to our knees, tears to our eyes, and strength to our spines. I'm going to tell you about one of them. It is a sound I hear too often. It averages about every three months or so. 

The worst sound I have ever heard is the noise my son makes before he has a grand-mal seizure. I terrifies me, it breaks my heart, and it is one of the few things I can't fix. 

It's like a loud intake of air when you really can't take in air. It's so loud you can hear it rooms away. The first time you hear it, you don't know what it means and then you spend the next moments losing your mind as your child spasms, coughs, and fights their way through it. And the second time isn't any better. The only thing to be said for it is that you know what's coming.

That noise means hours for my son to know weakness, pain, confusion. It means his mother will need to be strong for him though inside she has tears streaming down her cheeks. She will happily smack the next fool who tells her she shouldn't be carrying that little boy through the store. 

I have many sounds that bring many feelings and memories to the surface. I love the sound of his laughter, the way he says some of the few words he has, and I treasure the soft sounds of his breathing in the night. Don't get me wrong. The bad never completely over shadows the good, but to be honest that sound is one that echos long after it fades. It never gets easier to hear. 

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  1. ((Awful, hon.)) Sorry you both have to go through this.

  2. BlueJeansandLaceJuly 31, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Thanks.... It's one of the things that I wish I could fix with a band aid (for him) and a piece of something sweet (for me)

  3. BlueJeansandLaceJuly 31, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    (((hugs))) Thanks. I guess writing is the poor person's therapy.


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