The Deer or the Tick

She dipped another bite of chicken in ketchup, and stared out the window.

I could see she was contemplating something, but I asked, “Are you going to take that bite?”

She put the fork down and got off her stool.  Then, in uncharacteristic fashion, she picked up the stool and slammed it on the floor five times.  She sat back down and said, “There!”

I looked at Will to gauge his reaction.  This wasn’t like Jenny at all.

“Um, Jen…  what was that about?”

“I’m just frustrated with dad.  I’m tired of crying.  Eight year old girls shouldn’t pout, it’s embarrassing, so I figured I’d slam my stool a few times.  I do feel a little better, except look at all the junk on the floor from slamming the stool.  Sorry about that.”

_____

I could have launched into another of my “motivating” talks about how feelings are important.

  • It’s good to talk about it.
  • I know how you feel.
  • What’s the funny part of this story?
  • Do you really want to be in a funk right now?
  • Let’s choose a new attitude.

blah blah blah blah blah

I’m tired of hearing myself say the same things over and over again.  I have to think they are tired of hearing the same things, too.

So I acknowledged her frustrations.  I let her calm herself down.  I think I said something wise like, “That sucks, doesn’t it?”

We finished dinner and went outside to skateboard, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, laugh at the cat and walk the hill.

_____

The next morning we eased into home school in our most favorite way – I read a couple chapters to them.

This is the pearl we uncovered that morning:

“… your pain, like all you feel, is great.  Yet I fear that instead of stepping through your pain, as you and I have stepped through many a marsh, you have let it cling to you, like the blood-thirsty tick that rides our backs for months on end.” —Eremon, the stag
an excerpt from T.A. Barron’s book, The Fires of Merlin

 

Therein lies the power in storytelling.

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10 comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for this…the chills and the reminder to open a book when you need guidance. Sometimes it is right there in front of you.

  2. Zaira,

    Once again, we get what we need, just when we need it, if we are open to it.

    I gotta say, sometimes I feel like I know you.

  3. I have felt the same. We are probably more alike than we know, especially after what we have conquered.

  4. Zaira,

    Yes, we speak the same language. I also wonder if we view the world through the same lens.

  5. Hmmmm….I tend to think so. :)

  6. Lil Miss Jenny did a great thing there! Actually several. She trusted herself to do what her body said needed to be done.

    She did it, and in doing that she released a lot of chemistry that can get stored in the body and create illness in many forms.

    When I am ‘toxic’, which is what I call that full-of-crappy-chemistry state, I go and get my bag, which has an old pillow, gloves and a racquet in it. I beat it, scream, cry and then I smudge myself and the area I worked in. I also fill myself with white light or a rainbow of color.

    Then I am filled with peace.

  7. Donna,

    I’ve been missing your warm, wise words.

    I love the image of you dealing with the toxic stuff. I know Jen will love it, too.

    Thanks. ;)

  8. I was told once to throw ice onto the concrete….to take the whole tray, bucket, whatever and send it hurling piece by piece to crash into tiny bits. The problem metaphorically gets shattered. Just like what Donna’s bag of goodies does for her. I can totally relate to needing that release…as I am sure many others can too. Thanks, Donna for the reminder.

  9. Zaira,

    Love this one, too. I’ll suggest it for Jenny.

    Another one I’ve heard – write it down and put through a shredder. We often go the next step and burn it in the wood stove.

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